The Only Community Platform You Need
Our easy-to-use, fully-branded community platform, provides you with all of the tools required to build a thriving online community across Web, iOS and Android.
Grow revenue by selling member subscription and in-app purchases.
Skyrocket member engagement with live streaming and push notifications.
Bring your community together in a safe space that you own and control.
Why You Need a Community Platform
Whether you have a brand you are trying to cultivate in the public consciousness or you are simply tired of Facebook reaching into your group of like-minded individuals and making content management decisions for you, the best way forward is to find a platform that enables you to create the kind of online community you want and need.
Okay, But What is a Community Platform?
It’s a virtual space where people can interact with one another and the content they create, or with content generated by community leaders. Community platforms provide a vehicle for promoting meaningful discussion around shared beliefs, concerns or interests, including in many cases, interest in specific brands and the various product lines produced by that brand.
Facebook Groups is probably the best known community platform, although it is one that is falling into increasing disfavour due to the company’s penchant for imposing its will in a seemingly arbitrary manner.
The Different Kinds of Community Platforms
There are two types of community platforms, the “owned” platform and the “free” platform.
The free community platform is a product owned and controlled by a third party. Examples include Facebook, Quora and LinkedIn. The primary goal of these companies is to mine your data, package it, and sell it, and to monetise your community for their own enrichment.
Indeed, the entire platform can be yanked out from under you without notice, as happened with Facebook Answers and Yahoo Groups. That’s right. You could spend years carefully cultivating an online community, meticulously abiding by all the rules and regulations and not complaining when Big Brother reaches into your community and makes content management decisions for you, only to have your community shut down with little or no notice. There’s got to be a better way. Fortunately, there is.
The owned platform is, in some ways, similar to the giant social media platforms your members are already familiar with. Similar, but not the same. There is a fundamental difference between an owned online community provided by Disciple and a platform such as Facebook.
A community platform like Disciple has a familiar look and feel to it. As such, when communities transition from other platforms to Disciple, members are not disorientated and confused. That type of familiarity is important when it comes to retaining members.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter or other community platforms, however, your Disciple community is owned by you. You determine the feature set, you determine how the community is monetised, and you set the moderation rules.
In other words, you are the one with control over the user experience, not members of a corporate board half a world away.
Choosing a Community Platform
When choosing a community platform your primary concern has to be creating and nurturing long term relationships with followers, fans or customers. You need ways to draw them in, keep them engaged, give them a sense of belonging and promote beneficial discourse.
Most of all, you need a way to do that which is not subject to some outside entity’s arbitrary content decisions, that could alienate community members. For all those reasons and more, the clear choice for creating a thriving online community is Disciple.
Creating and nurturing an online community is hard enough without some invisible oversight committee making arbitrary decisions regarding user generated content, monetisation, the appearance of your space and more.
When you choose Disciple Media as your online community platform all those elements are now under your control. Yes, content moderation will still be necessary, but it won’t be imposed from on-high in ways that often undermine what you are trying to do. Instead, the rules will be set by you and administered by you as you see fit.
A Community Platform Designed For You
Our intuitive community platform is a one-stop-shop designed to help you build your community around what matters to you.
With Disciple community platform you can create unlimited groups to segment your audience, post content and videos, sell online courses and subscriptions, and use analytics to understand your community better. Your members can create their own profiles, find, friend and message each other.
Get the Most Out of Your Community Platform
Get the Most Out of Your Community Platform
Your own-branded community platform
Make your community more accessible than ever before with a fully-branded online community platform. Simply select the features and branding that suit your needs and in a few easy steps, you'll be able to launch, grow and monetise your community.
Publish your content and manage your members with a powerful community management hub. Your community. Your rules.
We take care of the technology, so you can focus on the success of your community
We built our public API, so you can integrate your community with existing tools.
We regularly update the platform with new features and keep an eye on App Store guidelines, so you don’t have to.
We provide a secure, GDPR compliant platform where you own and control your data.
Disciple community platforms are very powerful. My members love it.
Madeleine Shaw - Business Owner
Start growing, engaging and monetising your community
Branding & customisation
Unlimited groups and topics
Content Library & Media Gallery
Friends & Messaging
All the features of Web
Exposure to millions of users in Apple and Google app stores
Dedicated Community Success Manager
Priority customer support
*Plus VAT for customers in the UK and non-business customers in the EU
"Fantastic app platform has brought our community to life." - Action for Happiness
Disciple community apps in app stores.
Rated 4.64 out of 5. Based on 14,508 iOS and Android app reviews received between 30 June 2014 and 6 November 2018.
"Outstanding Product and Exceptional Customer Experience!" - Her Spirit
Frequently asked questions
How do I start an online community?
Starting an online community is a commitment, so you really need to understand why you are looking to create one. There are a number of tried and tested steps to launch your community. 1) Identify your own niche, something that would resonate with peoples' passion. 2) Find a place for your community to gather. You can do it on social media, but there are too many distractions. 3) Populate your community with content. There is no point of inviting member into an empty community platform. 4) Start inviting members from your mailing list and social media 5) keep in mind that having a small and engaged community is better than having large one which is not engaged. It's better both for revenue and engagement.
What are examples of online communities?
There are many examples of online communities. From Facebook Groups to gated community platform the number of online networks is growing fast. We have a number of inspiring communities on our platforms, such as A Year With My Camera (community of photographers) Action for Happiness (mental health support charity) and DADAF (community dedicated to dads). Other examples include:
Cerebral Palsy Alberta (CPAA). CPAA is a registered non-profit that created an empowering online community app they call “Flutter”. Flutter enables people with disabilities and their loved ones to connect to those who can help enhance their quality of life, including health professionals, disability advocates, researchers and more.
Jasmine Mays is a fitness consultant who chose to migrate from Facebook Groups to Disciple in order to gain more control over her content and community. Tired of Facebook’s intrusive practices and seemingly arbitrary censoring of important content she found in Disciple to be the perfect software platform from which to serve the many people who depend on her fitness courses.
The mental health charity Action for Happiness found that many of their members were uneasy discussing sensitive topics using social media apps. They needed to create a safe space in which people could open up without worrying that their deeply personal input would be monetised or otherwise misused. They found the perfect platform with the Disciple Media community platform.
What makes a community a community?
That's a tricky one. Community is defined by its members. We believe that the true community should be united by a single passion or interest. That's why social media is not really a community. It's a group of individuals with different interests and aspirations.
How do you build online community best practices?
There is no silver bullet when it comes to community building, but you can start by researching a particular gap on the market. We have a community of dads (something that wasn't that popular when they started) and a community of window cleaners. When you find a gap in the market, it's much easier to create your community. When you start with Disciple we also provide you with the best tips to grow and engage your community.
A Feature-Rich Community Platform
Online communities built with Disciple are more than just another message board. The Disciple community platform provides a host of useful, state-of-the-art features that enable you to shape the community experience in ways that benefit both your members and the long term business goals of the community leaders. Those features include:
Private messaging - With some community apps, users need to exit and open a third-party messaging app if they wish to send a private message to other members. With Disciple, they can send all the private messages they want without having to disengage from the community.
Push notifications - Have an important event coming up soon? Disciple push notifications allow you to keep community members up-to-date on all the latest goings-on in the community. Notifications can also be targeted and personalised to reach a precise demographic within the larger community.
Moderation tools - Disciple provides robust moderation tools that enable you to establish exacting guidelines and enforce them discreetly and fairly. Every decision will be based on rules you yourself have established.
Live streaming (mobile app) - This feature is perfect for product launches, live events, important announcements and more. Video quality is typically higher than Facebook or Zoom and you are able to stream to every member of the community or target only specific members.
Activity feed - This powerful feature allows you to provide every member of the community with content tailored specifically to them. It’s a great way to ramp up customer engagement and make your members feel like they’re a part of something special.
Outstanding customer support - While your community is yours we don’t just provide you with an app and cut you loose. We are always here to provide technical support that ensures your community hums along without disruptions. Should you opt for a mobile app you will be provided with your own Customer Success Manager.
The end result of more precise and productive content moderation, as well as having greater control over the community environment as a whole, will be an enhanced user experience that promotes long term engagement, shines a flattering light on your brand, and becomes a net positive in the lives of your members.
A Community Platform You Can Monetise
Of course, you may wish to monetise your community in order to ensure its long-term sustainability. Whereas outmoded community platforms like Facebook seem to issue more and more restrictive monetisation rules on a weekly basis, Disciple leaves monetisation decisions up to you.
Not only that, but we provide a wealth of methods for you to choose from when it comes to monetising your Disciple online community, including:
Subscriptions - You can choose to offer a variety of different subscription levels that provide access to different types of content.
In-app purchases - In-app purchases allow you to offer a variety of goods and services to your community members. If yours is a brand-related community, in-app purchases are a must.
Paid app download - While many community builders offer their community app as a free download, you have the option of charging for yours if you wish.
Sponsorships and advertising - Sponsorship deals and in-app advertising are two great, largely hands-off ways to monetise your community.
Store links - If you have an online store separate from your brand community platform you can link to it through your Disciple app.
Apple/Google Pay - These services enable physical purchases as well as allowing non-profits to collect donations.
Instead of restricting your ability to monetise your community, Disciple provides a multitude of ways for you to generate the income necessary to enable your long term community building efforts.
Learn more about community platforms
What to look for when choosing an online community platform
With so many options on the market how do you choose the right online community platform? Here are 3 crucial considerations from our community experts.
8 Ways to engage your online community
Find out how to make the most of your online community platform and build a thriving community with our expert tips to drive engagement and loyalty
How to make your own community app. Build or buy?
Wondering how to make your own community app? Then make sure you read our step-by-step guide that covers everything you need to know from experts.