Mighty Networks vs Circle (2023) – Which is Better?
In the world of video monetization, Mighty Networks and Circle are two of the most renowned platforms. In this article, we’ll conduct a detailed head-to-head comparison of 5 crucial features, helping you decide which community platform is truly the right fit for your business.
For content creators, educators, or businesses seeking to boost engagement with their followers, membership and community platforms like Mighty Networks and Circle present several benefits. They offer a controlled environment to share content, host events, and foster conversations among your customers. Additionally, these platforms provide complete control and “ownership” over your audience, making them an attractive option.
Determining the ideal community platform to use can be challenging. While both Mighty Networks and Circle boast excellent reputations, they do present slightly different experiences.
So, how do you make the right choice?
Mighty Networks vs Circle: The Pros and Cons
Let’s start with a basic introduction to the pros and cons of both platforms.
Circle is a convenient all-in-one community builder which enables users to create online communities with content, videos, and chat-based discussions. There are plenty of great features included, such as tools for community management, event management, and content creation, as well as discussion forums. Plus, the platform offers numerous integrations with social media networks.
- Extremely user-friendly back end and convenient environment
- Wide range of features for managing your community
- Straightforward social media integrations
- Excellent tools for chat and discussion forums
- Plenty of payment processing options
- Somewhat limited streaming features
- Fewer currency options
Mighty Networks is a comprehensive community platform, similar to Circle, which revolves around the development of unique “spaces”. You can use these spaces to provide users with environments where they can chat, engage in events, and explore content. Mighty Networks even allows you to create your own branded apps, and access a range of monetization options, including courses.
- Lots of monetization options, including courses
- Options for building your own branded apps
- Informative and feature-rich backend environment
- Lots of currencies and payment options
- Full live streaming abilities and integrations with Zoom
- Powerful analytics and insights
- Slightly more complex interface for beginners
- Can be expensive to build a branded app
Mighty Networks vs Circle: The Core Features
On the surface, Mighty Networks and Circle have a lot of similarities. They’re both “community platforms”, which means they’re both designed to help you boost your engagement with your followers and fans. Both solutions will allow you to take payments online, create and share content, and connect with customers through memberships.
Still, there are some core differences between Mighty Networks and Circle worth noting, particularly when it comes to their feature sets.
Mighty Networks is one of the top community platforms on the market. It combines an easy-to-use, comprehensive interface for community management, with a host of monetization options. You can create just about any content you can imagine, from long-form blogs, to short posts, polls, questions, videos, and live streamed events, to courses.
Plus, Mighty Networks allows you to learn more about your community. You can see who is active in your space, allow your consumers to customize their profiles, and even support 1:1 chat. There’s even an option to show community members other “local people” near them.
With Mighty Networks, you can divide your content and environment up into “spaces”, miniature containers where you can build custom experiences for your audience. There’s also a custom course builder, where educators can produce live or pre-recorded educational experiences.
From a branding perspective, Mighty Networks is also extremely advanced. You can add all of the different elements to your community that you like, and even create your own branded app with Mighty Pro, which is managed by the team at the company.
- Custom branded mobile app for iOS or Android
- Instant and easy web access with custom branding
- Live streaming and video hosting capabilities
- Zoom integration for one-on-one meetings
- Live chat capabilities (both forum and one-on-one)
- Course creation with quizzes and certificates
- Polls, quizzes, surveys and discussion boards
- Spaces for selling content and events separately from your main group
- Custom member profiles with “local” recommendations
- Support for creating all kinds of content, from blogs to videos and audio clips
- A complete activity feed to help users keep track of what you’re posting
- Membership tiers, paywalls, and other monetization options
Further reading 📚
Mighty Networks Review: Building Communities Online
Mighty Networks Pricing: The Complete Guide for 2023
The Best Mighty Networks Alternatives for Online Communities in 2023
Compared to Mighty Networks, Circle is a little more simplistic. The platform focuses more on discussion groups, forums, and chats than video and streams. However, you can create your own events too, and charge people for access if you want to. There’s also an activity feed available, which makes the overall experience feel more like social media for users.
When you use Circle to build your community, you’ll access a clean and simple-looking space, which you can customize with your own content and branding. You can create sections which introduce people to your content, and spaces which contain useful information.
Like Mighty Networks, you can use Circle to create courses, share content and engage with your followers through a range of different methods. There are options for rich posts, member directories, private spaces, group chat rooms, and weekly digests. Plus, you get tons of monetization options, like gate access, paid memberships, and recurring subscriptions.
Circle also integrates with a host of other tools, from social media to CRM software, so you can manage everything in one convenient space.
- Organized discussions and group chat rooms
- Private messaging and private spaces
- Content and resource sections
- Member directories and membership accounts
- Weekly digests
- Live streams and video hosting
- Event spaces
- Paid memberships, subscriptions, free trials, and gate access
- 1000s of integrations
- Single sign-on for management
- Advanced collaboration and permissions tools
- Analytics and reports
- The option to embed Circle features into an existing website
- Courses and training workshops
Mighty Networks vs Circle: Monetization Options
Mighty Networks and Circle don’t just give you tools to create your own community, they also help you to monetize your tribe too. This is important for those in the creator economy who want to make the most out of their connections with customers.
When you create an online community with Mighty Networks or Circle, you can charge customers a fee to access your spaces, or make them available for free. You can also choose whether you want your community members to pay a fee to access specific pieces of content, live events, courses, and other aspects of your platform.
With Mighty Networks, you can create and modify as many monetization plans as you like. There’s the option to offer the same plan to all of your customers in 135 different local currencies, so you can reach a wider audience. Plus, Mighty networks offers crypto payment support too. There’s a token-gating feature which allows you to connect your digital wallet to the system.
Mighty Networks supports bundling, drip-based content selling, and more, as well as coupons and discount codes to increase your sales.
Circle offers a lot of the same monetization options as Mighty Networks, including options for recurring subscriptions, memberships, free trials, gate access, upsells, and coupons or discounts. However, there are some limitations to what you can sell. For instance, you can’t sell “drip access” to courses, like you can on Mighty Networks.
Additionally, Circle doesn’t offer the same number of multi-currency options as Mighty Networks. There are only a handful of currencies available, and NFT and crypto payments aren’t supported. On the plus side, both solutions will allow you to accept payments through digital platforms like Stripe.
Mighty Networks vs Circle: Access
The good news for content creators looking to expand their community environment on Circle or Mighty Networks, is that both options allow users to access your platform through a mobile app, or web page. Mighty Network allows users to access your branded community wherever they are. Plus, you can upgrade to Mighty Pro to create your own iOS or Android app too. The apps are managed by Mighty Networks, so you don’t have to worry about handling the technical side yourself.
Mighty Networks also allows you to create a custom domain for your community, so users who are visiting you on a browser can get the same, excellent experience.
Circle offers a similarly easy-to-navigate and engaging solution for all kinds of customers. The company recently updated it’s technology to ensure users can access communities on both Android and Apple devices. In the past, only Apple smartphones were supported. However, Circle doesn’t offer white-label apps. You can, however, add a Circle community to an existing website.
Mighty Networks vs Circle: Ease of Use
Both tools offer an excellent user experience and interface for both community creators and their members. Circle’s back-end environment feels similar to Slack, social media, or a similar forum-based environment. There are plenty of ways to organize your content and jump between different channels. Plus, end-users get a personalized activity feed to ensure they can keep track of what matters to them. Members can also view other member profiles.
For social media users, Circle is likely to feel very straightforward and convenient, with virtually no learning curve to worry about. Mighty Networks is a little more challenging to get your head around, because there are so many different features to explore.
With various options for memberships, courses, community spaces, chats, and more, Mighty Networks can feel more overwhelming for beginners. However, that’s not to say it isn’t intuitive. Once you get your head around everything, you should have a relatively easy time using Mighty Networks. Just expect to spend some time learning.
Both tools also come with some great community management features. You can track information about your users on your back-end environment, and even create team accounts with different levels of access permissions, so you can get some extra help with managing your ecosystem.
However, Mighty Networks does offer some extra support in their ability to manage your own branded app on your behalf – this isn’t something you can get with Circle.
Mighty Networks vs Circle: Pricing
Pricing is probably one of the most important things you’ll need to consider when choosing the ideal community platform. Both Circle and Mighty Networks have a few different packages to choose from. With Circle, you can start with a 14-day free trial, which requires no credit card.
You can also pay for your service either annually or monthly, with small discounts if you choose the annual option. The plans include:
- Basic: $49 per month for engaging discussions, member profiles, unlimited events, group chats, private messaging, moderation, iOS app access, payment management, and a custom domain, as well as some basic support.
- Professional: $99 per month for all the features of the Basic plan, plus courses, live streaming video experiences, full white labelled community customization, advanced analytics, and support for custom CSS.
- Enterprise: $399 per month for all the features of the Professional plan, plus a dedicated CSM (Customer Success Manager), API access, custom profile files, priority support, single sign-on, and concierge onboarding.
You’ll also need to pay extra for add-ons. For instance, admins are an extra $10 per month each, and extra spaces or moderators are $20 for every 10. You’ll also pay for email white labelling, and custom profile fields on the Professional plan. Live streams and live rooms also have a price per month depending on the number of hours you want to use. Some free hours are included within the Enterprise plan for entrepreneurs with bigger communities.
Mighty Networks also has three pricing options available, although the last one is more of an “add-on” to the Business plan. You’ll get 2 months free if you choose an annual plan over a monthly alternative. Options include:
- The Community plan: $39 per month for native livestreaming, chat, messaging, events and zoom integration, paid memberships, branding, and content creation.
- The Business Plan: $119 per month for membership features from the Community plan, plus online courses, live cohort course creation, featured events and pages, analytics and membership data, Zapier APIs and workflows.
- Mighty Pro: Custom pricing for all the features of the Business plan, plus you get your own iOS and Android apps made for you by the Mighty Networks team. The apps are available in the Google Play store and Apple App store, and come with a fully white labelled experience. You’ll also get extra strategy, support, and migration services.
There are no hidden prices to worry about with live events and streaming from Mighty Networks, so the solution does turn out to be quite a bit cheaper than Circle in most cases.
Mighty Networks vs Circle: Which Is Best?
Ultimately, both Mighty Networks and Circle will give you the community building functionality you need to engage with your target audience. Both tools support a range of different features, from direct messaging to forums and content hosting for your membership site.
If you’re looking for a way to reach and activate your community, without relying on a social network, Circle.so and Mighty Networks are reliable, feature-rich, and relatively easy to use.
However, they do serve slightly different needs. Circle.so is probably best for companies and creators who already have their courses, and own brand assets located on an existing website, or a separate platform like Teachable. You can use the online community platform alongside other third-party tools, and explore new ways of monetizing your tribe. However, you may need to be comfortable using a range of tools, for WordPress widgets, to eLearning plugins.
Mighty Networks is ideal if you’re looking for a more customizable, all-in-one platform for enhancing your online presence. You can create courses within the platform, host events, and even create your own branded mobile app for customers to use whenever they like. The platform comes with a built-in ambassador program, access to various template and theme tools, SSO security options and even gamification features, to boost engagement.
Overall, Circle seems to be best for smaller community requirements, such as when podcast hosts and streamers want to deliver a Discord style chat experience to an existing tribe. Mighty Networks is the all-in-one tool for building, managing, and enhancing your community presence.