Are you a course creator, entrepreneur, or coach who wants to build a dedicated online community for your business?
You may already be using platforms like Kajabi or Teachable and wish to add a community component to engage your audience 🤝.
You need to be aware of the fact that Circle.so is a standalone community platform. Do you think it would be worthwhile to invest in third-party tools to build your business? Or get both community and courses feature under one roof with Mighty Networks. Which is better?
Also, people are migrating their community from their good old Facebook Groups and other forums for a good reason 🙌.
Why? Because user engagement sucks in there!
Although there are dozens of community platforms out there, these are the most popular ones.
Let’s cut the chase.
|Pricing starts at 💲||$39/mo||$39/mo|
|Any discounts available?||2 months free with annual purchase||None|
|Transaction fees||0%||4 % on the lowest plan|
|Mobile apps 📱||Has completely white-labeled apps for iOS and Android||Only has iOS app|
|Supports custom domain?||Yes||Yes|
|Custom Single Sign-on available?||Yes||Yes|
|Has native live streaming? 📷||Yes||Yes|
|Upsells, coupons, discounts||✖||✓|
|Is white-labeled?||✓||Not completely|
|Integrations||Mighty Networks is poor at native integrations. You need to use Zapier.|
It lacks API, unlike Circle.so.
|Circle.so provides native integrations with 10+ apps. It also has Zapier & Integrately, API integrations|
|Explore communities||Explore 25+ communities built with Mighty Networks||Didn’t get the creator stories page, will look into it.|
Choose Circle.so if:
▶ You have set up your business (or hosted courses on other platforms) and you just need a community feature for your business.
▶ Money is not a constraint for you to integrate with third-party tools.
▶ You need a standalone community platform to switch from free community platforms like Facebook to avoid distractions and increase members’ focus.
Choose Mighty Networks if:
▶ Need an excellent community feature for your courses to engage with your students.
▶ You are a course creator/teacher/coach and need its course builder to create and sell your courses.
▶ Need custom-branded mobile apps for both iOS and Android for your business.
▶ Need a built-in ambassador program to encourage existing members to invite new ones, thus growing your community.
▶ You have a large community and you need unlimited members moderators, and hosts to manage it.
Quick overview ✨
Circle.so is a newcomer, launched in 2019. The team behind Circle.so Sid Yadav and Andrew Guttormsen were the employees of Teachable. So they have a clear understanding of the need for community platforms and it helped them shape the development of Circle.so to the community-specific needs.
If you already have an online course hosted somewhere, and you just need to build a loyal community you can consider Circle.so. For example, if you are managing your courses on Teachable and you need a community to supplement your course to boost student engagement, you can host Circle’s community on Teachable. Read more on this integration page.
Gina has clearly understood the need for a distraction-free platform (the feed, ads, and the other posts in Facebook Groups make your members fly away) and built Mighty Networks mainly keeping audience engagement in mind.
With Mighty Networks you can create both communities and courses. You can market & sell your courses, memberships inside the communities, host live events/meetings, etc.
Main features of Circle.so:
- Has native live-streaming support and even has Zoom integration to conduct webinars, events, etc.
- It supports CSS customization enabling you to completely customize your community as needed.
- Provides public API integration and also integrates with Integrately extending the possibility to connect with third-party services.
- It supports custom single-sign-on (SSO), making it easier for your customers to log in to Circle using only one credential. (This means your customers can login to Circle, using Teachable’s login credentials).
- Has an iOS app.
Main features of Mighty Networks:
- Mighty Networks supports courses & memberships along with communities. You don’t need to buy an external platform, thus saving money.
- It has really good match-making features. Your members can connect with others in the community based on their location and the categories added.
- You can sell bundles (multiple courses/memberships+community) for a single fee, enabling customers to purchase more products.
- Has completely white-labeled mobile apps that you can custom brand.
- Has a built-in ambassador program where you can motivate members to promote your communities and get rewarded.
- It has native integrations with Google Analytics (get more detailed insights) and Facebook Ads Pixel (helping you run ads to promote your products & brand).
- Mighty Networks comes with a native course builder. (Course creators here out loud 🔊) eliminating the need for third-party integrations. This helps you market your courses inside the community platform and thus increase sales. Circle.so lacks this.
- Mighty Networks offers completely white-labeled (custom branded) mobile apps for both iOS and Android (Mighty Pro), helping your audience consume the content on the go. Whereas, Circle as of now just offers an iOS app. If most of your audience are mobile users, this may be a deal-breaker for you. Know your audience (Hint: Use Google Trends)!
- All its pricing plans support unlimited members, hosts, and moderators. Whereas, Circle doesn’t support unlimited moderators. Even if you pay $99/mo, you can have only 10 moderators. If you need additional moderators, you need to purchase add-ons at an additional cost ($20/mo per 10 moderators).
- It has a built-in ambassador program to incentivize the existing members to bring in new members and earn rewards for it. In the case of Circle, it lacks this feature but as a workaround, you can use an external platform like Referral Rock (using Zapier integration) to achieve this.
- Mighty Networks support multi-currency and you can charge plans in various currencies, helping audiences to buy in their local currency (it may marginally improve some conversions) and reducing friction. This is lacking in Circle.so.
- Mighty Networks doesn’t charge any transaction fees on its plans. While Circle charges a 4% fee on the basic plan, 1% on the professional plan, and 0.5% on the highest plan (classic Teachable style!). Depending upon your sales volume, this can be substantial.
- Mighty Networks comes with an events calendar for you to get a quick view of all the upcoming events or live sessions and even with your personal calendar. Circle lacks this, but you can integrate it with Google Calendar.
- With Circle.so you can send weekly digests to your community members. This includes a summary report of all the tasks that happened over a week so that your members will be always aware of the things happening in the community. With this, you’ll not feel awkward (flooding them with emails) preaching minimalism for example.
- It provides an embed widget to host your community or a space on external platforms you are using. For example, if you are using Teachable to host your courses, you can embed your Circle’s community on Teachable. It helps your students easily explore and join your community.
- To boost sales, Circle offers features like coupons, discounts, and upsells. You can upsell your courses/memberships, give access to private spaces at discounted rates, offer coupons for your products on special occasions like Black Friday, etc. As of now, Mighty Networks doesn’t offer these.
- Both Mighty Networks and Circle lack gamification features like points, achievements, leaderboards, ranking systems, etc. They just offer live-streaming, and event features to connect with your members in real-time.
- Unlike Tribe.so, these tools don’t offer a keyword blacklist and profanity blocker to avoid spam. This would be really helpful if you have a larger community of members.
- Unlike tools like BuddyBoss, these don’t support quizzes and survey features, to collect members’ feedback. Though you can embed Google Forms.
Mighty Networks is for you if you are a course creator, a coach, a trainer, an entrepreneur, etc. (serving niches like health & wellness, lifestyle, businesses, and much more). Its custom-branded mobile apps are truly a game-changer if you are in the niches like fitness, arts, lifestyle, health, etc.
To explore more on this, you can read here to know how Mighty Networks Pro (custom branded apps) helps YouTube creators, fitness/yoga teachers, and entrepreneurs to take inspiration from these and succeed in their businesses .
Circle is the best platform to create course communities, membership communities, coaching communities, and communities for clubs, organizations, startups, or your brand. The top marketer Pat Flynn and also Teachable have paid their communities hosted on Circle.so.
Circle seamlessly integrates with various LMS ( like Teachable) and membership site platforms (like Memberful, Memberstack, or MemberSpace) making it best suitable for people who already have a course and just want to add a community component to it.
But you may discover that although Mighty Networks has course features, it can be quite limited when it comes to course engagement reports, course compliance features, drip feeding, etc. So, you may prefer to use Teachable with Mighty Networks.
With Circle.so, it doesn’t come with a course creation feature at all.
Mighty Networks has recently released features like – a member welcome checklist for hosts and new Zapier triggers. It is also working on the ability to add multiple speakers for live streams, new reaction icons for posts & comments, and also chat improvements.
Circle.so is working on releasing the features like –
- Chat improvements and the ability to provide raise hands in the live stream.
- Multiple currencies
- Closing threads
- Scheduled posts
- Highlight comment/posts
- Chat spaces and chat improvements like images/GIF/attachments, edit / delete messages, etc.
Circle.so’s big update 🔥: Circle has recently released courses feature right inside of the platform. With this launch, you will get features like –
➡ Course spaces
➡ Drag and drop curriculum builder
➡ Interactive lesson editor
➡ Native video hosting and attachments
Right now, this feature is in beta test. Make sure you check this post for the updates.
To stay ahead of all future updates, click on the links below.
Mighty Networks has groups (Circle calls it spaces), chats, online now (think of Whatsapp), direct messaging, and live event features. While Circle.so has member tags, weekly digests, spaces, group chats, a community switcher, and private messaging.
Circle’s tags help the members identify the roles associated with others. You can automate member tagging and untagging using Zapier triggers. Refer this article to know more about this. Also, Circle.so comes with weekly digests feature where you can share what has happened inside of the community over a week. For inactive members, this would be really helpful.
Also, if your members have joined multiple spaces or communities on Circle, they can easily switch between the spaces with a single click. They do not need to login again and again. This is a really cool feature.
Mighty Networks also has a built-in ambassador program where you can motivate the existing members to bring in new members and get rewarded for the work. This is lacking in Circle.so. If you need to offer this kind of program, you need external integrations.
Note: Currently spaces are not available inside Mighty Networks. But they are working on it and soon they will be available.
In both tools, you can customize the community onboarding experience👋, add custom links for promoting the products, offers, blogs, eCommerce stores, or any custom landing pages, etc. You can also pin the important posts like community guidelines, and any announcement messages at the top so that they will be always visible.
Note: In the case of Mighty Networks, you can customize what a group should be called – a Circle, committee, space, section, tribe, or any other custom name. This is lacking in Circle.so.
Both tools allow you to host your community under your custom domain (you can connect sub-domain as well). This builds more trust among the audience and converts them well. Great for building your brand.
Circle.so also allows you to add custom code snippets (add Google Analytics or Facebook Pixel code for tracking), CSS, add member tags 🏷 for more interaction and 👀 identify the members with special roles, and embed the comment section on external pages (For example – you can embed Circle’s community posts below the lessons in Teachable and ask the students to join your communities hosted on Circle). You can even use embed widgets to promote your Circle’s spaces on Teachable.
Mighty Networks has a dedicated course builder, whereas Circle.so doesn’t come with a course feature.
You can create online courses and live cohort courses. Unlike tools like Thinkific or Kajabi, it doesn’t offer course templates.
Mighty Networks’ course curriculum consists of sections and lessons. You can add content types like text, video, images, and files.
You can drip schedule the lessons to avoid students binge watch them. Also for engagement, it has a comments feature available for each lesson.
Mighty Networks is very weak when it comes to course compliance features, unlike dedicated LMS tools like Teachable or Thinkific. If you want to make sure that students are going through your courses, you must implement these. But sadly, you won’t get these with Mighty Networks.
If you are using Circle for community building and in case you need a course feature, you need to integrate it with tools like Teachable, adding up the cost.
Circle.so provides single sign-on integration with Teachable. This means the Teachable users can login to Circle using Teachable credentials. This minimizes the friction associated with logging in to multiple tools.
Circle.so comes with an embed widget (use this to promote your communities or spaces). Using this, you can embed the Circle spaces or the communities within Teachable courses. You can provide free access to the public communities, and ask them to join the private spaces to get more value.
Both Mighty Networks and Circle.so have built-in live streaming features. To increase user engagement, they have chats and event features.
For the live events, you can invite co-hosts or guest speakers to provide more value for users.
Mighty Networks supports groups feature, in case of Circle you have spaces. You can keep Circle’s spaces/groups private and sell the access to paid users. You can offer group coaching calls within groups/spaces where all the users can interact with each other.
For easier networking, Mighty Networks has a member match-making feature. The community members can connect with other members sharing similar interests. For example – they can search other members with the same location, occupation, interests, and share the same category.
Another notable feature in Mighty Networks is badges (With Circle you have tags, will discuss them later). Currently, Mighty Networks provides these badges only for hosts and members of the ambassador program. But they are working on custom bandages and incorporating gamification to increase engagement. You can keep an eye on their 👉 product roadmap to see future updates.
One unique feature of Circle.so is that it comes with a weekly digests feature. With this, you can send a summary of all the things that happened in the community over a week. If any member wasn’t able to participate due to a busy schedule, these digests will surely help to keep up with what’s going on.
One notable feature of Circle is its member tags. You can make them visible to all members or only visible to admins. You can choose to display these tags on posts and comment bios, profile pages, member cards, and member directories.
If you want you can use Zapier triggers to automate the member tagging and untagging.
Mighty Networks (Mighty Pro) offers custom branded (completely white labeled) mobile apps for both iOS and Android. You can create, design, and launch your own apps in Google and Apple Play Stores.
Above is the flowchart representation of the steps involved in launching your apps on the Apple and Google Play Stores.
On the other hand, Circle.so just offers an iOS app but it is not completely white labeled. You can just remove the Circle’s branding.
Custom branded mobile apps help grow your brand, make it easier for people to discover on the app stores, and join your communities. And mainly they keep your audience away from all the distractions with other social media platforms like Facebook.
To know the real power of custom branded apps, I recommend you to go through this case study by Christy. She has moved her $10M Nutrition Coaching Business Off Facebook Groups To Mighty Pro. Before migrating she used to deliver the content with Facebook+ClickFunnels. The engagement was sucking because of the feed, ads, and censorship and Facebook also has to close her account sometimes. Christy couldn’t interact with her members and it left her in pain. So, Crishty decided to move to Mighty Networks. Now her members have one app, one platform, one community and she could see the revenue growing up each year 🔥.
With Mighty Pro apps, your members can access the courses, memberships, and communities all within the app.
The best thing is it supports built-in custom branded notifications. These help you stay in touch with your members. You can send notifications related to in-app purchases, group coaching calls, live events, and new product launches.
Still with us?
You can also send email notifications via the app. You can send the invite links to participate in the events, send PDFs, eBook links, notes, and much more.
Note that Circle’s iOS app doesn’t support admin-centric actions such as creating spaces or inviting members. However, they can access comments across all of their spaces, send and receive real-time messages, and push notifications. If you want to know more about the app, click here.
Tip: Mighty Networks handles all the responsibilities of app design, customization, listing, launching, and VIP technical support. So you do not need to worry about these. Just focus on providing more value for your customers. To help you in launching your apps, Mighty Networks gives you access to 1:1 Community Design™ coaching program where you can connect with the team and ensure you have a strong launch plan in place.
For monetization, Mighty Networks comes with paid memberships, online courses, paywalls, live events, and an ambassador program.
With Circle.so you have paid memberships, live events, and paywalls. To increase sales, it has upsells, free trials, coupons & discounts.
To create a paid membership, with both Circle and Mighty Networks, first, you need to select the topic for the membership site, and add a subscription-based pricing plan.
As both tools also support paywalls 💲, you can give access to the content only for paid users. Some examples of how you can create paywalls include –
- To read more than 5 articles users need to purchase a subscription.
- You can build a free membership site and provide access to private groups for a fee.
- Create members-only private groups.
Live events 🎫:
Both Mighty Networks and Circle.so come with a native live streaming feature.
With this, you can create live group coaching calls, in-person events, webinars, masterclasses, etc. You can utilize these events to warm up the audience and pitch your products (like online courses, ask them to join the memberships, offer eBooks, etc). Even you can offer discounts in the case of Circle.so to increase sales.
With Mighty Networks you can promote and sell your online courses in your communities and memberships. In the case of Circle, for creating courses you need tools like Teachable (We have discussed this already in the course builder section). You can promote them using the links in your communities.
Both these tools don’t offer any special security features like keyword blacklist or profanity blockers to avoid spam within your community.
In case you need these features you can consider going with tools like Tribe.so.
Both Mighty Network and Circle.so provide analytics to help you analyze how your community is growing.
With Mighty Networks you will get analytics on –
Members – Under this, you will get data on active members, returning members, contributing members, etc.
Content – This tab gives data on the total number of posts, member posts, etc. You will get to know which posts are getting more interaction, how members are interacting with the posts, and much more.
Click here to know all the analytics that Mighty Networks provides.
On the other hand, Circle.so provides analytics related to members, engagement, community traffic, leaderboards, messages, spaces, etc.
The insights you get include –
- Top members
- Active commenters
- Post starters
- Active spaces
- Active posts
Both Mighty Networks and Circle.so provide quite a good number of integrations. But Circle has more integrations.
Mighty Networks has native integrations with Zoom, Google Analytics, and Facebook Ad Pixels. It has API and Zapier integrations to connect with other third-party tools.
While Circle has integrations with Teachable, Memberstack, Memberful, MemberSpace, Facebook, WordPress, etc. It provides a single sign-on with all these tools. It also has Zapier and API integrations. They are also working on providing Webhook integrations.
Using Zapier integration, you can automate the message sending in Circle.so using EasyCSV. Also, you can –
- Bulk add or remove the tags
- Bulk create posts
- Bulk add or remove members from a space
- Bulk remove members from a community
Refer the images below to know more on the Zapier trigger available to automate the tasks.
Though Mighty Networks comes with an LMS feature it is not much powerful and cannot replace dedicated LMS tools like Teachable, Thinkific, and Kajabi.
It doesn’t come with course compliance features (which help students completely go through the course and have higher completion rates), course bundles, course completion certificates, or video retention graphs (which help you get an idea of how students are engaging with your course videos, and where they are dropping).
In case of Circle.so, you should use the LMS platform if you want to sell your courses.
So, comes the need for LMS integrations.
Both Mighty Networks and Circle.so tell their users to integrate with Teachable. As we have already discussed Circle founders were the previous employees of Teachable, and they have made it super flexible to integrate with Teachable.
If you are using Mighty Networks + Teachable integration, you can promote your courses in Mighty Networks’ communities, spaces, or groups, using the course links. You can redirect the users to your course landing page and let Teachable handle all the payments.
The same is the case with Circle. But Circle.so has an edge here. You can host your communities on Circle.so and as it comes with an embed widgets element, you can embed the Circle’s spaces and the communities directly on Teachable.
With this students do not need to login to Circle to access their communities, thus helping in reducing the friction associated with logging in to multiple platfiorms.
Note: Both these tools also come with single sign-on integration with Teachable. With this, the students can use Circle’s credentials to login to Teachable. That is one login for multiple platforms. Nice isn’t it?
Mighty Networks pricing starts at $39/mo. If you need courses, live cohorts, Zapier APIs & workflow, you need to go with its Business plan at $99/mo. This plan is best for course creators.
If you need your own custom-branded mobile apps, you need to go with Mighty Pro. For the pricing details contact the support.
Mighty Networks discount
Mighty Networks is offering 2 months discount if you purchase its annual plans. This means, on the lowest plan you can save $66/year, and on the Business plan, you can save $198/year.
As of now, Circle.so is not offering any discounts.
Circle.so pricing starts at $39/mo. To get features like community customization, API access, analytics, and live streaming, you need to get the Professional plan at $99/mo.
Circle.so charges a 4% transaction fee on its lowest plan.
Mighty Networks and Circle.so both provide good support to assist you.
Mighty Networks has a YouTube channel, in-depth knowledgebase articles, and public community to assist you. Whereas Circle has knowledgebase articles and a public community of Circle’s users. You can join these communities and ask your queries.
Winner: Mighty Networks.
Both Mighty Networks and Circle.so are the leading online community platforms available today.
If you are looking for an all-in-one solution to sell courses, memberships, and also build a thriving community for your business Mighty Networks is the best value. Its Mighty Pro (mobile apps) helps you in building a brand around your product and is a game changer.
On the other hand, if you already have set up your business somewhere else and are now looking to build a community, Circle.so is worth buying. Unlike Mighty Networks, it doesn’t come with courses and memberships, but it integrates well with top LMS and membership platforms and provides single sign-on for easier login.
The final choice depends on your use cases. I hope you found this post on Mighty Networks vs Circle.so helpful.
What is Mighty Networks?
Mighty Networks is an online community platform that comes with courses, memberships, and communities.
What is Circle.so?
Circle.so is a leading community tool to build a thriving community for your business.
Do these tools offer trials to try out the tool?
Yes. Both tools offer a 14 day free trial.
How much does Mighty Pro cost?
It is not advertised. Contact the support team for the details.