Community Building September 13, 2020

Slack Vs Circle : Which one will you choose and why ?

Akash Kadyan @akashkadyan

Hello Makers 👋

I'm building a private community for founders, but I'm confused about choosing the community platform for the same .

I think Slack will drive better engagement as people can smoothly access it on both desktop and mobile.
On the other hand, Circle has got some cool features but without a mobile app it will not add up in engagement.

Will be glad if anyone can help me out with this and give me a feedback from a customer's eye 🙏

Which community platform will you prefer as a customer ?
  1. Circle
  2. Slack
  1. 5

    Can you provide a URL for Circle? Never heard of it.

    1. 2

      Example of a community hosted on Circle :

      Do share your views :)

    2. 1

      Yup. I had never heard of it, too. It was even missing on SaaSHub (I just added it). I'd guess it's quite new.

  2. 4

    Interesting that you're asking this question on a forum built for founders. Curious as to what you're building that's different from Indie Hackers?

    Personally, I find the community here on IH to be more useful than any Slack group that I've joined. Sometimes I find there's too much noise on Slack.

    1. 1

      Sure, I'll explain you more on DM.
      Let's connect ?

  3. 4

    As a user, I prefer slack or discord because it's easier for me to use.

    But if I were building a community, I'd probably choose my own platform like circle.

    1. 1

      Cool, thanks for your suggestion !

      Let's connect ?

  4. 3

    Never hear of circle.

    Slack is just a bit too "internal" tool designed to mee. Also seems expensive if you need to go above free tier.

    I was just invited to try this:

    It looks great, build on good stack. Its surly early days but you can't beat the price.

    Others use discord

    I think there are lots of options.

    What is circle?

    1. 1

      Glitchy Slack clone. What I have on trying to sign up:

      <Message>Access Denied</Message>

    2. 1

      @jesperordrup This is interesting. I will sign-up and take it for a drive.

    3. 1

      Thanks for your suggestion.
      I had a look at Fave, but I think it might not be the best fit for me :(

      Example of a community hosted on Circle :

      Do share your views :)

  5. 2

    As a member of both Slack and Circle communities I'd strongly recommend Circle. I basically don't participate at all in Slack communities because there is too much noise. You're digging through channels, some conversations are in threads, others are not.

    I live in Slack for work, but it's not a community, it's a real-time communication tool. It's good for times where you have small groups you're having a live conversation with, or one-on-one conversations. Since I don't want my phone or computer constantly alerting me everytime someone posts a message I have to mute everything, then I have no notifications that activity is happening and I forget.

    Circle on the other hand is ideal for an actual community. You have spaces for different subjects/topics. You don't just post messages in a space, you post a topic and visually it's enforced that to reply to that topic you click "reply" on that topic and not create a new topic. That makes everything a lot cleaner. You can also get a notification badge on the page to show new topics in your spaces, and new replies in topics you've participated in.

    A good example of why Circle is better than Slack is if you have an Introductions space, then most members can go there to post introductions about themselves. Then if you come across a topic or reply somewhere else in the community that seems interesting you can click on that persons profile, see their picture and bio, and other threads and comments they've posted. If they had posted to the introductions space, you'll see that and can learn more about the person. Then maybe reply to something they posted, or message them directly if you'd like to ask them a question or introduce yourself.

    When I'm not on the Circle website, I'm not being overwhelmed by notifications on my phone. I can then adjust my settings and get emails during the day for things that matter to me. I can choose to get emails for things that I might want to find out about right away like if someone mentioned me, or replied to a topic or comment of mine. There is also the option of getting a weekly email digest.

    1. 1

      Thanks for your valuable feedback :)
      It helped me a lot.
      Let connect?

  6. 2

    @akashkadyan Another alternative to Circle is a tool called tribe ( Tribe does not have a mobile app but is very usable on a mobile browser. Have a look.
    I will be interested in understanding the "private community of founders". Let's connect.

    1. 1

      Thanks, Ravi!
      I personally prefer Circle over Tribe mainly due to it's UX.
      What do you like most about Tribe?

      Sure, let's connect!

      1. 1

        Functionally there is not much of a difference between Tribe and Circle. I would say that circle is slightly better than tribe from a clean UI perspective.

  7. 2

    I prefer Discord over the two. It's free and can be smoothly accessed on mobile, web and desktop.

    1. 1

      me too i prefer discord cause it's cheaper :)

    2. 1

      Yeah, discord can also be an option 🤔
      What do you like about discord?

  8. 2

    Well, slack is never built for building a community. Slack replaces email, makes it easy for workmates to help each other, make decisions and move on.

    Community on the other hand grows in value with time, re-useable content, and more structured for newbies to understand what's going on.

    On slack, once you cross 10k messages either you pay $9 per member or forget those 10k messages. Do you really want to lose the conversations? Hmmm, I get it - slack has mobile app, but that means use your user is part of tens of groups too. How about a reserved place on the internet, on your website to focus on discussions related to the cause you stand for? Sounds better.

    Yes, you can either use circle or I am working on

    1. 1

      Really nice insights 👏🏼
      I'll check out Habitate :)
      Let's connect?

  9. 2

    Hey Akash - I am building a Slack community all about helping founders build authentic personal brands/become thought leaders to grow their businesses.

    Happy to talk about what we've learned from our journey thus far.

    1. 1

      Subscribed 🚀

      Do share the link for the Slack community.

      Let's connect on Twitter :

  10. 1

    The responses here were helpful to read. I’m also in the process of finding a platform to use for a community I’m building. Someone recommended me to checkout Circle but I’ve found that my users spend a lot of time on their phones so it would be detrimental if I used a platform that did not have a mobile app. I guess it really depends on your users.

    I really like Slack and I’m part of a few different communities via Slack but it’s just so expensive for what I’m looking to do. Discord is an option. I’ve also been looking into MightyNetwork and a few others.

  11. 1

    Curious why anyone with hosting chops and a limited budget would choose Slack over RocketChat (open source service that seems more or less identical to Slack, having been a user on both). You can build communities on a chat-first platform, but it works best with relatively small ones, ime, with several well defined channels and ideally as an outreach to something more structured (eg courses or workshops + chat channels for people working on each course). I prefer the look and feel of Circle and it should be better for evergreen content (similar to Mighty Networks and of course FB), but haven't been very involved in a community on it yet to get a feel for it as a user.

  12. 1

    Of the two I'd recommend Slack.

    The real answer is something only you'll know. It depends on what you have planned for the community.

    Slack is great because most people are familiar with it, the barrier to entry is super low. It works well with smaller community sizes because the chat stays manageable. It's also free, can't beat that.

    I'd also recommend checking out Geneva ( Almost a best of both worlds and it's also free.

    1. 1

      Haha, any other platform which you prefer?

      1. 1

        No. No. Tried many but eventually hate all of them. I like the old-school forums but they are outdated too.

        That's why I and Co are building a new platform. Not a clone of Slack, Facebook, or Circle. A completely new concept, for real network lovers.

        1. 1

          I'll be glad to try it :)

          Let's connect?

  13. 1

    I prefer Discord, it is just a very high quality product, being initially targeted at gamer community. Support for voice is great and totally free.

    1. 1

      Discord seems great.
      What do you like most about the discord experience?

      1. 2

        Small thing I guess, like your DMs are separate from the network where you met - more like friends. The voice channels and useful in some groups. The apps feel faster overall. Scrolling in Slack app in a room with huge history just sucks compared to Discord (both Linux apps).

        1. 1

          Really helpful insights 👏🏼

  14. 1

    Have your ever look for a tool on Virtual Mojito?

    Keen to hear what functionalities are you looking for @akashkadyan

    1. 1

      Great resource, thanks!

    2. 1

      No, I'll have a look at it.

      Sure, let's discuss

  15. 1

    I'd suggest looking at Zulip or Twist. Never heard of Circle, and Slack, definitely not.

    1. 1

      Twist looks pretty much like Slack.

    2. 1

      I'm curious to know the reason behind your suggestion on not going ahead with Slack 🤔

      I'll take a look at Zulip and Twist 👍🏻
      Thanks 🙏

      1. 2

        Not using Slack: this explains it better than I ever could:

        1. 1

          Tried it.
          What I can say: bad-looking, glitchy Slack clone. The threads are just messy, so I can't see how it could be useful.

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