19 Best Community Apps Fostering Stronger Connections Digitally

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Community Apps

Community apps originated from the natural human tendency to feel like a part of something. Connecting with people and being able to socialize holds a lot of meaning for us.

We have always found ways to connect with like-minded people through hobbies, similar interests, educational institutions, or the nature of work. But now, thanks to the globally connected world, meeting individuals with the same mindset from an entirely different country is possible. 

And that’s what people are doing— becoming members of their preferred communities online through applications. Thanks to this trend, a new category—“community app”—has surfaced in the digital market. 

With the advanced mobile app development services, these community apps witnessed a boost in development and demand. Each unique in its own way, these apps are slowly transforming the way we connect, understand society, and socialize. 

Want to know more about these apps? Then, this blog is right where you are supposed to be!!

What Is A Community App? 

Community apps are just what they sound like – a digital space for humans to connect over a common interest, topic, hobby, etc.

These community building apps become lively parks, activity centers, and institutions in the online world where people can share their perspectives with those who are actually interested. 

However, these community applications do more than just connect individuals; they become platforms for live streaming, online learning, or building one’s own business. Thus, they help people not only meet their group of people but also derive opportunities for themselves. 

There are many apps to choose from, but don’t let the vast market overwhelm you. Here are 19 top community platforms from diverse genres and industries for you to get started. 

19 Community Apps Revolutionizing The Current Market 

  • Circle 
  • Mighty Networks 
  • Discord 
  • Slack 
  • Hivebrite 
  • PlushForums
  • Kajabi 
  • Bettermode 
  • Thinkific 
  • Uscreen
  • Disciple 
  • Wild Apricot 
  • Podia 
  • Discourse  
  • Social Media Groups  
  • Clarityflow
  • Honeycommb 
  • Disco.co 
  • Reddit

1. Circle 

circle

Although primarily used by educators, this tool has a plethora of beneficial features for almost every industry and occupational scope. Whether you are an entrepreneur or an NGO, an educator or a creator, Circle has something for everyone. But what makes it top the list of community apps? You get all the controls. 

You decide the look and feel of the space created, whether it will be free to access or have some paid features. It allows you to create a personal space to share, ideate, or build your brand. The interface is also intuitive and compatible with desktop and mobile devices. 

Pros 

  • A feature-rich versatile options 
  • Highly compatible with multiple devices
  • Private space features

Cons 

  • Live streaming requires premium functionalities
  • Limited customization with the free plan 
  • The Android app might get a little glitchy 

2. Mighty Networks 

mighty_networks

Feature-packed and powered by AI, Mighty Networks is one of the top community apps for its seamless functioning and easy-to-navigate interface. This platform allows you to easily use templates or create a custom space to build your community. Overall, you get to decide the final look and feel. 

Might Networks’ main USP is its generative AI assistant, “Mighty Co-Host,” which aids in designing course outlines, optimizing content, and improving engagement. With this platform, you can also add an activity center for community members to interact with each other in the same space. 

Pros 

  • Simple layout 
  • Allows pre-scheduling of posts
  • AI-powered solution

Cons 

  • Fewer customization options are available
  • Unpredictable customer services
  • Video hosting requires third-party like YouTube

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3. Discord 

discord

Initiated as one of the online community apps for gamers, Discord allowed the gaming community to grow and interact with their fans in a much better manner. It offers both chat and video channels, allowing users to connect comfortably and foster a stronger community. 

The platform grew and is now used for a myriad of reasons, like school clubs, an art community, or basic discussion. However, because of its not-so-formal look and feel, it won’t be a suitable business solution. Discord is perfect if you are a learner working on a project together or a gaming enthusiast. 

Pros 

  • Easy-to-use interface 
  • Option to make channels private 
  • High-quality video functionality 

Cons

  • Might not be suitable for businesses 
  • Monetization option unavailable
  • Lack of formal communication tools 

4. Slack 

slack

Slack is a first-choice community app among businesspeople for streamlined internal communication in the workplace. But that’s not the only use case for this tool. The platform’s refined features can also be used to build communities. 

The free plan is best for startups or building smaller communities. It allows organized channels for different topics or interests, and users can share media in multiple formats, such as audio, videos, and images. However, the paid subscription is a bit expensive, so keeping that in mind is essential. 

Pros 

  • Different channels for a well-organized space
  • Easy screen sharing 
  • Refined features and functionality

Cons 

  • Expensive paid plans 
  • Limited data retention with the free plan 
  • Not suitable for a bigger community 

5. Hivebrite 

hivebrite_

This community app is designed for the seasoned players in the market, i.e., large-scale businesses, industries, and established educational institutions. Hivebrite is a cloud-based solution that helps you create an improved brand image and better engagement. 

What’s more, it effortlessly integrates with other CRM platforms like Salesforce. It also offers a rich suite of custom management tools and a multi-tier pricing model for the community. However, all these advanced features come with a huge price tag, which is why considering the usage factor and all before investing is advised. 

Pros 

  • Complete CRM system 
  • Top-quality custom management tools
  • An efficient networking platform

Cons 

  • Very expensive solution 
  • Not suitable for beginners
  • Live stream options not available

6. PlushForums

plushforums

It is one of the top community platforms for creating online forums with contemporary features. PlushForums is easy to use and allows both open and private forums. Users can host discussions, categorize topics, add polls, and include images and videos for members. 

PlushForums also offers a modern event management system for creating scheduled events without clashes. Users can also monetize the forum using the paid subscription method. PlushForum is one of those community apps that has maintained a strong position in changing times through constant upgrades and modern functionalities.  

Pros 

  • Easy-to-use interface 
  • Event management system available 
  • High mobile compatibility 

Cons 

  • Live-streaming feature unavailable 
  • Advanced functionality absent 
  • Limited scalability 

7. Kajabi 

kajabi

Kajabi is your one-stop solution platform that allows creators to monetize their skills and knowledge with AI. It was initially created as a platform for online courses, but it slowly grew into a community app with added features and tools. 

It doubles as an eCommerce platform and allows one to sell resources in the form of online courses, coaching programs, digital products, etc. The AI creator hub helps design an effective course outline, while automated funnels increase lead generation with pre-written copies. 

Pros 

  • A single-stop solution kind of application 
  • AI creator hub and automated funnels for better strategies 
  • Doubles as an Ecommerce platform along with a community app

Cons 

  • An expensive solution 
  • Has a steep learning curve 
  • Limited community features 

8. Bettermode 

bettermode

Bettermode is simple, versatile, and robust—basically, it is everything you need in a community app. With Bettermode, you can create interactive spaces for members. The platform also offers flexibility in designing custom features and integrations. This community app is fully equipped with everything you need to create an unimaginable experience.

This feature-rich platform allows you to host, chat, list jobs, do a Q&A, and more. It adds a touch of personalization by creating member roles, a member directory, and custom profiles. It also has a built-in SEO, an embed tool, a custom domain, etc., which adds to its advanced functionality. 

Pros 

  • Versatile and robust 
  • Flexibility 
  • Packed with advanced features 

Cons 

  • Complex interface
  • Steeper learning curve 
  • Third-party integration might be expensive 

9. Thinkific 

thinkific

While online courses are garnering all the attention, connecting or communicating with batchmates from another country can also seem impossible. This is where Thinkific comes into the picture. It helps bring both the community and your course to a single place. 

This community app allows you to easily link your online course with the community so people can interact, bond, and not feel alienated while studying. The community features include image, URL, and file support. You can also tag other members, and people can also join the online course via the community feature. 

Pros 

  • Well-connected course and community functionality 
  • Ideal for instructors and educators
  • Videos are supported & can be uploaded on posts for clarity

Cons 

  • A better online learning platform than a community app 
  • Comparatively expensive 
  • Posting feature may have limitations 

10. Uscreen

uscreen

This community app allows creators to monetize their talent through videos. Uscreen is the best platform for coaches, trainers, musicians, etc., as they can design the lessons in video format and earn revenue from it. 

Uscreen also gives you complete control over how you want to build the community. Everything from who gets to access how much content to organizing the community into public and private channels is under your control. Additionally, it helps you boost engagement by creating polls and challenges. 

Pros 

  • Fully customizable
  • Built-in monetization and billing tools
  • Live streaming available

Cons 

  • Requires a lot of video content 
  • Customer services are not up to the mark
  • No free plan(only a 14-day free trial available)

11. Disciple

disciple

If you are looking through the top community platforms for taking your business online, then Disciple is the answer for you. It provides quick setup and customized features to help you design an online community space tailored to your brand. 

Disciple offers multiple methods to engage with your audience, like live streams, polls, events, posts, etc. Additionally, its built-in analytics system helps track the community’s performances. It is also powered by OpenAPI to eliminate the need for coding when connecting with third-party apps.

Pros 

  • No overcomplicated UX 
  • Simple and easy-to-follow interface 
  • Available as an app and webpage

Cons 

  • Limited functionalities on the web 
  • Only annual or bi-annual payments are available 
  • Requires a few technical updates for optimal performance 

Custom-design Your App With These Top Mobile App Development Software

12. Wild Apricot 

wild_apricot

Wild Apricot is an ideal community platform for big associations and nonprofits to strengthen their online presence. Whether it is cross-team collaboration or event management, its user-friendly community platform simplifies both. 

It provides an extensive membership database space where you can quickly look through and manage your community members. Also, its live event functionality is phenomenal with which you can easily build an amazing online community. 

Pros 

  • Complete event management (with an in-built ticket system)
  • Excellent member management tools 
  • Easy-to-follow video walkthroughs

Cons 

  • Interface might feel pretty basic 
  • Dated interface
  • Not suitable for solo projects 

13. Podia 

podia_

Podia is one of those community building apps that doubles as an online learning platform for marketing enthusiasts. Here, you have the option of creating a free community or monetizing it. As for user engagement, it can be either by participating in the discussion or by sharing content on the centralized feed. 

You can also personalize the platform by adding your brand image/logo to the community homepage. However, Podia does not provide many customization options. Another drawback is that it does not offer a mobile app but can be accessed through a website. 

Pros 

  • Offers course completion certificates
  • Both free and paid community building options 
  • Easy to set up and get going 

Cons 

  • Limited customization support 
  • Can’t be used as an independent community app
  • No mobile app (yet)

14. Discourse  

discourse

Discourse is a good PlushForum alternative. It is a community app for creating online forums in a very simplified manner. It is entirely open-source, so you only need to pay the hosting fees, which makes it a highly cost-effective option as well. 

Additionally, Discourse offers cutting-edge features like AI, spam blocking, and more. It follows the standard layout, where conversation flows down the page, and members can communicate in real time. This certainly makes it one of the top community platforms. 

Pros 

  • Completely open-source 
  • Comes with built-in API 
  • User-friendly interface 

Cons 

  • Require hosting fees 
  • Might not be able to resolve all requirements 
  • Limited functionality

15. Social Media Groups

social_media_groups

Every one of us is familiar with social media. We spend a huge amount of time on platforms like WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and similar apps. But have you ever wondered if these social media platforms can be used to build your online community? Well, now you do! 

Create separate groups, share your ideas or products with others, and grow with like-minded people—all without any additional costs. Some examples of social media communities are LinkedIn Groups, Facebook Groups, and WhatsApp communities. 

Pros 

  • Doesn’t require any additional app download 
  • Best to create engagement and brand awareness 
  • Excellent reach 

Cons 

  • No information on traffic and algorithms 
  • Unable to gather audience data 
  • Monetization option unavailable (other than selling products)

Additional Read – Types Of Social Networking Apps

16. ClarityFlow

clarityflow

Clarityflow is an ideal solution for instructors who want to take their coaching business online. It makes a decent community app and a competent business management tool. With Clarityflow, you can easily create multiple small communities in the form of spaces based on different courses or programs. 

Separate spaces are beneficial as they allow you to organize related groups, discussions, materials, etc., in separate spaces. With coaching-focused features, it is one of the best community apps from an educational institution’s perspective. 

Pros

  • Built-in management tools (like courses and payments)
  • Can augment personalized learning 
  • Intuitive interface and highly customizable 

Cons 

  • Basic community management tools available 
  • No free plans 
  • Only supports pre-recorded videos 

17. Honeycommb

honeycommb

Honeycommb is one of the top community platforms for brands, artists, creators, etc., to build their own social networks. With Honeycommb, you can connect with fans and interact with them. The best part is that you get complete autonomy to customize your community to your taste. 

Honeycommb lets you monetize your services through memberships, live streams, virtual events, etc. You can also create member groups, verify profiles, and integrate third-party tools for complete customization. Additionally, it allows you to curate unique experiences for your fans through custom profiles, feed interactions, following them, or direct messages.  

Pros 

  • Extensive customization 
  • Myriad of interaction options
  • Efficient customer services 

Cons 

  • The backend might require some learning 
  • Can seem pricey for what it is offering

Talking about fans and creators, we all have that favorite YouTuber we want to connect with and know more about! Right? With Fancall – A social networking platform, we aimed to bridge the gap between YouTubers and their fans, giving them an opportunity to connect at a much better level. See how we made it happen – here

18. Disco

disco

Disco, a platform primarily used to monetize digital learning products, also serves as a community app in the form of Memberspace. It helps the creators build an exclusive experience for users where they can find relevant content, engage with people, and learn about upcoming events. 

It is powered by AI and seamlessly integrates digital products with the community. The Memberspace creator decides whether it should be completely linked or not. The AI tool also comes with a chat feature to resolve general queries. Apart from AI, it offers many modern functionalities aimed at transforming the learning experience. 

Pros 

  • Efficient customization
  • Advanced filters for efficient search 
  • A smart AI assistant 

Cons 

  • Some plans are overpriced 
  • Free plan or trial not available 
  • Live chat or live streaming option not available

19. Reddit

reddit

Last but not least on our list of community apps is Reddit, which is probably the oldest of all. On this single platform, so many diverse branches have come together in innumerable communities—and that too, for free!! 

Being the oldest, Reddit is definitely the most well-known community app. However, it lacks advanced functionalities like customization (which is the need of the hour) or monetization. However, many still prefer it for its easy accessibility and vast network of users. 

Pros 

  • Completely free platform 
  • Access to a larger network of people 
  • An extensive range of domains/topics 

Cons

  • No exclusivity
  • Basic community features available
  • No monetization tools 

What Are The Benefits Of Community Apps? 

There are a multitude of advantages to these best community apps. Some of them are: 

  • Improved engagement through polls and conversations among the members. 
  • A more organized and structured place for discussions with custom tags and categories. 
  • Automated community management to have time with your members without worrying about chores like emails, events, payment management, etc. 
  • More targeted reach with exclusive communities, thus improving sales. 
  • A custom online space designed uniquely to your requirements 

Final Thoughts On Community Apps!

That was one good ride—researching various community building apps and understanding how they can help people connect from across the world. It is no wonder that technology can do wonders in unimaginable ways, and a digitally advanced world is the future.

Making businesses digitally adept is the only solution to ensure sustenance and a strong market position. While these ready-to-use solutions can be the answer, the one thing that can absolutely help you stand out amongst your competitors is a custom solution designed only for your business. 

And with that, OpenXcell’s team of experts can prove to be of great assistance. With two decades in the digital industry, we have helped businesses navigate the ever-evolving technological landscape. 

If you have a clear concept of what your community app should look like, we can assist you in making it a reality. Book a consultation and learn more about how our expertise can transform your requirements into an actual solution. 

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author
Vaishnavi Baghel
AUTHOR

A Philosophy student who knocked on the door of the technology, Vaishnavi is a writer who likes to explore stories, one write-up at a time. A reader at heart, she plays with words to tell the tales of the digital world.

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