Summary: Nowadays, building a Facebook group may not be the best idea. Without owning your platform, you could lose the community you've built up over the years in an instant—a total nightmare! Here are the best Facebook group alternatives to keep your community going strong in 2023.
If you manage a Facebook group, you should start migrating your members to other community platforms. Why? Let me tell you:
Building communities on social media platforms like Facebook without a backup platform is not the smartest strategy. Facebook is a tool for building an audience, not a place to convert and retain users. You don't own the platform—it's owned by Facebook.
So if Facebook suddenly closes your group, you could lose 50,000 people joining your group in an instant.
To avoid this nightmare, here are the best Facebook group alternatives to turn your Facebook group into your community.
These alternatives give you full control and rights to your content, members, and brand assets. But before that, here are the reasons why you should stop using Facebook groups.
The downsides of Facebook Groups include:
- limited customization features
- no ability to create paid communities and memberships
- no features to set up private spaces, no subgroups or courses for group members,
- and Facebook doesn't provide control and flexibility which can hinder community growth.
Furthermore, Facebook notifications are mixed with other personal notifications, and the platform is full of distractions.
Additionally, people are avoiding Facebook due to its controversies, meaning your audience may not be hanging out there anymore.
So, to keep your community going and growing in 2023, here are the best tools to use, ranging from simple messaging tools to the best all-in-one community platforms.
The 7 Best Alternatives to Facebook Groups
Who wouldn't know Slack these days?
It's the most popular collaboration tool, replacing email threads with direct messages perfect for teams and online communities.
Unlike Facebook groups, Slack offers channels, file sharing, announcements, subgroup management, and direct messaging. Additionally, powerful app integrations can automate a welcome note for new members.
On the other hand, Slack is limited to managing group conversations. It cannot add courses or collect money from members.
- A free version of Slack is available for communities and teams with limited features.
- The Pro plan is offered at $7.25 per person/month, providing unlimited message history, apps, integrations, and lightweight & voice-first huddles.
- The Business plan is available at $12.50 per person/month, offering 99.99% guaranteed uptime, SAML-based SSO, and the ability to export data of all messages.
Another popular community messaging tool is Discord.
Discord is a great choice for paid & free communities with mostly Gen Z and millennial members.
It is a free alternative to Facebook groups with a user-friendly interface designed for gamers and young people. Discord offers quick communication between users without the need for privacy settings or corporate monitoring.
Its most popular features include:
- Creating public or private communities and channels, or even your server
- Connecting up to 10,000 people in a single server
- Highly customizable with an in-app store for add-ons like emoji packs
- Invite-only feature to filter members
- Perfect for school clubs and gaming groups as a virtual hangout
However, Discord is not suitable for online courses and lacks payment collection features for monetization and product creation.
- Discord is free to use to build a community
- Customization requires a subscription: Nitro Basic ($2.99/month), Nitro Classic ($4.99/month), or Nitro ($9.99/month)
- Prices are localized to make them more affordable for creators and community builders across the globe. Non-US users can pay Discord in their local currency.
Discourse is another option.
Looking for an alternative to Facebook with a forum-type, open-source platform? Discourse is the one!
It's an invite-only space with dynamic notifications, and easy-to-use forum-type features available in iOS and Android apps, allowing your group members to chat, reply, share, and comment with their mobiles.
However, Discourse is not suitable for selling online courses, collecting payments, or productizing your community, unlike Slack and Discord.
- They offer a 50% discount on their basic paid plan if you subscribe now. Instead of paying $50/month, you can pay as low as $25/month for a private, invite-only space for teams, groups, and clubs to connect and collaborate.
- If you have more than 100 members, choose the Standard plan for only $100/month with up to five admins/moderators.
Next, we present platforms that offer more than just messaging capabilities, and are a great alternative to Facebook groups.
Bettermode (formerly known as Tribe.so)
Bettermode, formerly known as Tribe. so, is an all-in-one engagement platform with high customization features, such as custom spaces, blocks, profiles, and branding, as well as the ability to set up a custom domain.
It also offers powerful app integrations and custom apps, stunning engagement tools to increase community engagement, built-in SEO for organic growth, and an advanced search feature.
Unfortunately, Bettermode is expensive, with no free version and the advanced plan starts at $599/month. A free trial is available but must be activated by their team after a demo call.
So, maybe Bettermode is not for you if you're on a budget. Let's look at other Facebook alternatives.
You may have heard of Circle. so if you're a creator and you follow notable digital creators like Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income and Anne-Laure Le Cunff of Nesslabs.
They both use Circle for their paid membership communities. Most people say Circle is similar to Facebook groups, making it a great alternative.
Unlike Facebook, Circle has the best features when it comes to:
- Branding the platform with your assets
- Fewer distractions, as the platform, focus solely on your community activities
- Hosting live events, creating online courses, and offering masterclasses
- Customizable notifications and integrations
- A free plan isn't available, but you can try the platform for 14 days
- Start with the basic plan for $39/month, paid annually. This includes core features such as unlimited events, group chats, private messaging, moderation, an iOS app, and a custom domain
- Get the Pro plan for $89/month, paid annually, to access advanced features such as online courses, live stream video experiences, fully white-labeled solutions, and advanced analytics
Let's now proceed to platforms designed for scalability.
Are you using WordPress for your website? If yes, then you got BuddyBoss to build your community!
It's an online learning platform that can be integrated into WordPress. As a community builder, you can scale your community members to thousands and millions and create as many products as you want using BuddyBoss' unlimited inclusion bundles.
The most popular features include:
- Limitless growth - unlimited people can join your group. Your team can add unlimited courses, subgroups, and events!
- Everything you need to build a successful community is already in BuddyBoss.
- Gamification tool to keep members engaged.
- Student dashboard to track progress.
- Certificates to incentivize members.
- Notifications to remind members of activities.
- Payment gateways to monetize products.
Pricing is reasonable:
- For those just starting, 1 site is only $228 per year.
- For those running more than one community, 5 sites are $288/year and 10 sites are $388/year.
BuddyBoss is great for WordPress users, but you still need to build it yourself. Navigating the platform can be challenging, and it takes more time to set up than other learning community platforms.
Look for alternatives that allow you to grow with ready-to-use software.
If you don't want to waste time building your platform and want to launch quickly, Teachfloor can help you turn your Facebook groups into a community platform in minutes, not months. It's best known as the go-to learning platform for community-based learning and cohort-based courses. It's used as an alternative to Facebook and also makes it easy to build free and paid communities.
Most Popular Features Include:
- Unlimited members can access your courses and community
- Create unlimited online courses or mastermind groups
- Upload unlimited files with unlimited storage, without extra fees
- Manage your community and online courses on the same platform
- Automate the core email group system in minutes
- A free trial is available for 15 days, or start with the basic plan for $59/month, including unlimited inclusion bundles
- The basic plan is suitable for any size community. If you need advanced features and up to 15 admins, upgrade to the Business plan for $299.
Teachfloor is the best Facebook group alternative in 2023 for growing member engagement and revenue without the hassle of building from scratch and paying expensive fees.
Looking for alternatives to Facebook doesn't have to be difficult.
I've identified the best options among the thousands of tools, apps, and platforms available. All that's left is to choose the right platform and move your community groups away from Facebook. Best of luck!