Are you a business owner looking for a platform only to build a community?
Or maybe you’re looking for a platform that supports both courses and communities.
If you are looking to build a thriving community for your brand or business, which one do you prefer? Which one is easier to manage?
To be clear, Tribe.so is built only for communities while Circle previously was restricted to communities. But it is now focusing on LMS features as well, so you’re getting both courses and communities out of the box.
|Pricing starts at 💲||$39/mo||$99/mo|
|Trial||Sign up for 14 days free trial||Has a free account for up to 100 members|
– Sign up for free account now
|Any discounts available?||❌||❌|
|Mobile apps 📱||Has only iOS app (But not truly white labeled)|
– See all the app features
|Courses 📚||It has recently released courses. You can create online courses or cohort courses. |
– See all the course updates
You need to use third party services.
|Community features||▶ Spaces|
▶ Private Messaging
▶ Member Directories
▶ Weekly digests
▶ Member tags
– Explore more on Circle’s community features
▶ Private Messaging
▶ Block-based community building
– Explore more on Tribe’s community features
|Gamification features||❌||Badges and leaderboard system|
|Community moderation features|
The flag posts &
flag members features are
|Supports custom domain?||Yes||Yes|
|Custom Single Sign-on available?|
|Has native live streaming? 📷||Yes||Yes|
|Upsells, coupons, discounts||Yes||Yes|
|Is white-labeled?||You can just remove Circle’s branding||You can just remove Tribe’s branding|
|Explore||Explore all Circle’s features||Explore all Tribe’s features|
Circle.so was founded in 2019 by Sid Yadav and Andrew Guttormsen. These guys were former employees of Teachable. So, they have clearly understood the need for a community platform (which Teachable is lacking) and this experience helped them build Circle.so aligning with the community’s needs. Needless to say, they integrate with Teachable well!
On the other hand, Tribe.so was founded in 2018 by Siavash Mahmoudian, Soheil Alavi, and Mohsen Malayeri. Now, it is serving thousands of active communities in SaaS, consumer online services, and retail niches. Some of the most popular brands using Tribe include – IBM, Pipedrive, ConvertKit, ASUS, etc.
- For marketing and monetization, Circle has features like paywalls, upsells, discounts, paid memberships, etc. These help you increase sales and conversions. If you know the importance of conversion rate optimization, you’ll love these features. On the other hand, …
- Circle.so has a weekly digests feature. With this, you can send a summary report of community tasks. This would be really helpful for inactive members to be aware of what’s happening without you spamming their inboxes!
- Circle.so has launched courses feature recently 🤞 (Helpful for course creators). It is now in beta testing and will be live soon. With the release of courses, you will get a native course builder, course spaces, an interactive lesson editor, student progress tracking, and much more. Having your course and community both on one platform gives emergence to a whole world of possibilities. Tribe lacks LMS features.
- Tribe.so supports custom profile fields. With this, you can create your own fields where you need to collect additional information from your members. This data helps you further categorize the members based on their interests, geographical location, age groups, etc.
- As part of gamification, Tribe.so offers member badges. As an admin, you can create and assign various types of badges to your members which encourages and motivates them to actively engage in the community tasks. You can add badges like verified members, welcome (for new members), VIP members, partners, etc. To know more about the use cases, you can refer to this guide. Tribe.so also has a leaderboard system.
- The best thing is Tribe.so integrates natively with Discord, a great mainstream destination for discussions. You can connect the Tribe’s community or the spaces to Discord and receive notifications and updates through the communityBot created by Tribe. This increases the flexibility in organizing your discussions well across the platforms. 📖 Learn more about this here. In the case of Circle, you need to use Zapier to integrate Discord.
- For security, Tribe.so has features like keyword blocker, profanity checker, suspending the members, manual email verification, etc. If you have a large community of members this feature would be really helpful to prevent spam. Circle lacks these. Nevertheless, the best way to fight spam is to allow only people who bought atleast your entry-level product to join the community (it’s signal vs. noise).
- Tribe.so is one of the few tools that support block-based community building. With this, you can design the community the way you visualize it. The blocks available include – CTAs, leaderboard, filter tags, accordion, iFrame, etc. For example – You can customize how the community dashboard should appear. Like you can add a leaderboard in the sidebar and check what elements it should display. PS: I’m a big fan of modular apps! (Hi, Notion!)
- Both these tools do not support quizzes and assessments, unlike other LMS tools like Kajabi. If you need you can either use free solutions like Google Forms or paid tools like Paperform or Typeform.
- Tribe.so doesn’t have mobile apps, while Circle.so just has an iOS app. Unlike Mighty Networks, Circle’s app is not completely white-labeled.
- Though Tribe has badges and a leaderboard system as a part of gamification, it doesn’t have a points and ranking system. Circle as of now doesn’t offer any gamification features.
- Both these tools don’t have marketing automation and funnel features. If you need, you can use external tools like ClickFunnels or go the WordPress route with Elementor, at an additional cost.
Circle.so latest updates:
With the introduction of courses, you will get –
- Course spaces
- Drag and drop curriculum builder
- Interactive lesson editor
- Native video hosting and attachments
- Embedded comments with image and file attachments, GIFs, and notifications
- Student dashboard and progress tracking
- (Coming soon) Customizable sales page editor for your course.
- (Coming soon) Advanced video analytics.
The team is also working on releasing features like –
- Multi-currency paywalls
- Scheduled posts
- Android app (they already have an iOS app!)
Tribe.so latest updates:
Tribe.so has recently introduced native integrations with powerful tools like HubSpot, Discord, and MailChimp. Also, lately, it has introduced a private messaging feature to build stronger connections, member badges for gamification, manual email verification for enhanced security, etc.
You can click on the links below to see all the latest updates.
Both Circle and Tribe are premium community platforms. Circle’s pricing starts at $39/mo, while Tribe’s pricing starts at $99/mo.
Circle.so provides a 14-day free trial for you to try hands-on the tool while Tribe offers a free account for up to 100 members.
Circle’s Professional plan at $99/mo would be the ideal plan for most of users. This plan comes with live streams, custom themes, advanced analytics, and the ability to remove the Circle branding.
On the other hand, compared to Circle, Tribe is quite expensive. Its Plus plan at $99/mo would be enough to build a thriving community. If you need advanced features like API, Webhooks, email white labeling, audit & activity log, etc. you need to choose its Premium plan which costs $399/mo.
Choose Circle.so if you –
- Need an affordable community platform with inbuilt LMS.
- You’re already using Teachable, and want a community platform that plays well with it (Circle.so founders previously worked with Teachable)
- Want to create course-specific communities to build a strong network of your students and keep them engaged with them.
- Need marketing features like paywalls, upsells, coupons & discounts, paid memberships, etc.
Choose Tribe.so if you need –
- A block-based community builder to create the community as you visualize. It gives you more flexibility and design freedom.
- You have already hosted your online business on other platforms and you just need a community-building platform.
- Gamification features like badges and leaderboards to increase members’ engagement.
- Community moderation and security features like email verification, keyword blocker, profanity checker, suspending the members, hiding posts, etc. Tribe is also working on features like flag posts and flag members.
- Excellent integrations with Discord (oh yeah!), HubSpot, WordPress, Outseta, API & Webhooks as well.