Tools: Community Chat, Community Platforms, Community Forums

Community Chat

Bunches (free)
Group chat software.


Discord (free)
Group chat software with personal servers, screen sharing, etc


Discourse (free)
Engage in searchable discussions with your customers, superfans, and team members. Create a self-service hub of common questions, interesting ideas, and useful discussion. Customize the style, integrate your favorite services, and create the community you need. Integrates with Patreon and Memberful.


Geneva Chat (free)

Group chat app designed for organized, ongoing conversations. Join or create a Home, set up Rooms for specific topics.


Gitter (free, open source)
A chat and networking platform that helps to manage, grow and connect communities through messaging, content and discovery.


Mattermost (free, paid)
Messaging platform for DevOps.


Openland (free)
Modern social network built for people, not advertisers


Palapa (paid)
Community software that allows long-term organized conversations, PLUS real-time ephemeral messaging. Somewhere between chat and a forum.


Software that allows you to chat, advise, answer questions, and build stronger relationships with and manage clients


Rocket Chat (paid)
Chat software that allows you to communicate and collaborate with your team, share files, chat in real-time, or switch to video/audio conferencing, with multiple channels and private groups

Sense Chat
Chat software that is secure and encrypted, multi language, private and allows you to earn sense cryptocurrency.


Slack (free)
A channel-based messaging platform.


Best features of modern chat platforms and old-school forums and smashed them together into a format that makes it easy scale to any size


Telegram (free)
Encrypted messaging app that is customisable.


Twist (paid/free)
Advertised as Slack but better – no pressure to respond immediately, more organised, less distracting, transparency and collaboration are easier.


Whatsapp (free)
Messaging app that is simple and secure. Owned by Facebook.


Community building tool that integrates with your own website without configuration


Zulip (paid)
Chat for distributed teams that combines the immediacy of real-time chat with an email threading model

Community Platforms

Aluminati (paid)
A powerful suite of tools to engage and grow your membership networks, with an online platform, data sync, email service, and map app. Designed for universities, for students and alumni.


Brightest (paid)
Social Impact Platform for virtual events, community engagement, social impact management and measurement


Connective (paid)
A one stop platform for all your community and network needs from websites to communication to payments to mobile apps. And 2 integrated video conferencing tools. Communities can be public, semi-private or ultra-private and connected to create Ecosystems


Hivebrite (paid)
An online community platform that is customisable and modular.


Locals (% of supporters)
Subscription-based community platform.


Parlor (paid)
A Feedback Management System.


Sociohub (paid)
An online community platform, with tools for engagement and collaboration, content management, event management, communications management, gamification, membership and deals and offers management


Tchop (free)
Ready-to-use content, curation and chat platform


TokyWoky (paid)
All-in-one community platform for loyalty and advocacy and support services


Union (paid)
A network that connects startups and organizations around the globe on one digital platform.

Community Forums

A community platform with a deep suite of tools built with engagement, innovation and insights in mind, which connects you with customers for marketing and consumer insights, and experts for research


Circle (paid)

A community platform for creators where you can organize discussions, create private spaces, and empower interest groups. You can create community spaces for educational purposes, newsletters, podcasts, business as well as membership based communities


Comradery (request access)

Comradery is an online community platform that provides both threaded discussions & real-time chat! Fully customizable (+ put it on your own domain!) and built for communities: member directory, moderation tools, full API, events support, and more


Crowded (paid)
A platform that allows you to create your modular and powerful community-driven website


Crowdstack (paid)

Crowdstack is a modern, mobile-friendly engagement hub for your community. As a SaaS, there’s no coding, it just works. Easily collaborate and communicate with fans, volunteers, constituents, customers, employees, and influencers.


Discourse (paid)

Discourse is the 100% open source discussion platform that you can use as a mailing list, discussion forum, long-form chat room, and more


Empact (contact)

Empact software introduces a new framework for digital communication, enabling groups of any size to aggregate a collective knowledge base, eliminate information silos, and problem solve at scale.


Flarum (free)

Forum software and hosting.


Forumbee (paid)

Forumbee is a cloud-based community and discussion forum-creation platform that supports social sharing, mobile moderation and a knowledge base


Group.App (free and paid options)

Community platform with features such as paid membership, private and public communities, ability to create & sell online courses, free and paid channels, public community pages, advanced analytics, email and in-app notifications, Stripe payment processing, and coming soon: mobile app and admin accounts


Haaartland (free)

A community platform with features such as free landing pages, simple website builder, helpful AI (in beta), free images, no coding, free customer widget,



A community platform with features such as a rich text editor, mutiple channels, search engine friendly, single sign-on, private community, content moderation, white labelling, analytics, event management, and more coming soon


Higher Logic (contact)

SaaS-based online community & communications software with member engagement and communication, and customer support, success, and marketing


Influitive (paid)

Influitive allows you to build a community of advocates and invite your customers, developers, partners, and employees to complete challenges, referrals, product reviews, social media posts, and more.


InSided (contact)

An enterprise-level community platform that is cloud-based and gives you a complete set of applications to build, integrate, and manage branded customer communities across digital touch points and devices.


Invision Community (paid)

A digital product design platform with forums, ecommerce, CMS, file sharing, calendars, galleries, blogs, and clubs


Khoros (contact)

A global customer engagement software company that provides online community management, social media marketing, social media analytics, digital care, and content management software and services to enterprise brands and agencies.


Mesh Connect

Mesh is a platform for communities to build, moderate, and monetize. We’ve created tools for leaders to create sustainable communities with their most pressing problems in mind: money, safety, and security.


NodeBB (paid; free for open source)

A next-generation discussion platform that utilizes web sockets for instant interactions and real-time notifications. NodeBB forums have features out of the box such as social network integration and streaming discussions. It’s also an open source project and can be found on GitHub.


Open Social (contact)

A purpose-built online community software allows organizations to create online spaces where members can communicate, collaborate, connect and share expertise and experiences from anywhere in the world.


Personify (request a demo)

4 programs that include an association management system, vibrant digital spaces and collaboration tools, expo management software, and membership management for emerging nonprofits and chapters.


Playgroup (paid)

A cross between old school forums and modern communication apps, with features including widgets, pinned threads, mentions, search and more


PlushForums (paid)

Forum software with a perfectly integrated blog, private messaging, member directory, custom profiles, events, paid subscriptions and a polished set of forum features. All with absolutely no technical knowledge required and no plugins to install.


Reddit (free)

Reddit is an American social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website. Registered members submit content to the site such as links, text posts, and images, which are then voted up or down by other members.


TapaTalk (free and paid)

A mobile-first community platform that includes tapatalk groups – an end-to-end, fully managed community platform. With your online community on Tapatalk Groups, you get services such as Social Sign On, Spam Prevention, Questionable Content Detection, Ability to accept Member Donations, Automatic Newsletters, SEO and more, to help you to run a great, sustainable community. It works seamlessly on desktop, mobile web, and our award winning mobile native app for both iOS and Android.


Telligent (paid)

A flexible, online community and forums platform that can help transform customer and employee engagement, support, and web self-service.


Tribe (free and paid)

A powerful community platform, integrated into your product.


Una (free and paid)

UNA is a full-stack software platform for building custom community websites, social networks and collaboration hubs.


Vanilla Forums (request demo)

Vanilla is cloud based software (SaaS) that lets you create a customer community forum for your website or app


VBulletin (paid)
Community site software with the option to use on your own server or for hosting. With features such as SEO, messenger, user/member management, forums, threads, and more


Warmintro (paid)
Warmintro makes it easy for you to create, manage, and monetize your very own online community. We give your community a unique space which is like a private mini social network, where you control the content, members, and brand.


XenForo (paid)
XenForo is a commercial Internet forum software package written in the PHP programming language.


Zapnito (contact)
Software to easily launch your own branded community, with out-of-the-box and custom features. Plus flexible design, fast implementation, easy to use interface and personalised support

Zendesk Gather (paid)
An American customer service software