We all know that one person.
The one who is always spouting off their opinions on everything, whether or not anyone has asked for them.
They love to be the center of attention and they’re always ready to share their thoughts, no matter how uninformed they may be.
We usually call this person a “know-it-all” or a “blowhard.”
But what if there was a way to harness that energy and use it for good?
What if we could take that person’s need to be heard and use it to build a community that genuinely engages with one another?
Circle (Circle.so) is software that is designed to do just that.
It is an online community software that facilitates the creation of forums, groups, and pages where people can share content and ideas with one another.
Whether you’re looking to start a professional networking group or a support forum for local moms, Circle makes it easy to build a community filled with engaged and active users.
This Circle review will take a closer look at the features, benefits, pricing, and more about it so that you can decide whether it’s the right software for your online community-building needs.
In A Hurry? Read Through This Quick TL;DR Summary
Circle is an excellent platform for building online communities. It helps brands and creators build online communities for their loyal audiences.
It allows users to create forums, groups, and pages where they can share content and ideas with others.
It has a number of features that make it an ideal platform for community building, including:
- The ability to create forums, groups, and pages
- A user-friendly interface
- A wide range of customization options
- Integrated tools for managing membership and activity
It is user-friendly and offers a wide range of customization options to suit the needs of any community.
Circle also has a number of integrated tools for managing membership and activity, including features for moderating content, tracking engagement metrics, and setting up notifications.
Whether you are looking to build an online community for your business or simply connect with others on a personal level, it is the perfect tool for the job.
Circle is software that is designed to help build online communities that helps your audience solve their doubts and engage themselves into brainstorming sessions and much more.
It allows users to create forums, groups, and pages where they can share content and ideas with others.
This can be a valuable tool for businesses, organizations, and individuals who are looking to create a community of people who are interested in similar topics.
Besides creating communities and spaces, you can go live and interact with the members of your groups and solve their doubts much more efficiently.
Circle also makes it easy to find and connect with people who share similar interests.
In addition, it provides tools for moderating and managing communities, allowing users to easily manage discussions and content.
Circle has a unique algorithm that helps to keep conversations on track by identifying and removing spammy or off-topic posts. This helps to ensure that discussions stay on topic and that users can easily find what they are looking for.
I have found it to be an incredibly useful tool for building online communities and engaging with others in meaningful ways.
Whether I am looking to start a discussion group, share ideas with like-minded individuals, or simply connect with people who share my interests, Circle has been a valuable resource.
The ability to keep conversations on track and remove spammy or off-topic posts is especially helpful in ensuring that discussions are productive and relevant.
Who Is Circle For?
It is a great platform for businesses, organizations, and individuals who are looking to create a community of engaged people.
Circle is perfect for:
Businesses: If you are looking to build an online community for your business, Circle is the perfect tool for the job.
Organizations: If you are looking to build an online community for your organization, Circle is the ideal platform.
Individuals: Circle is also a great tool for individuals who are looking to connect with others online.
What Makes Circle Unique?
1. User Interface and Experience
Circle has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to navigate and use. The platform is also easy to customize and tailor to your specific needs.
Be it their homepage or their community creator dashboard, everything is easily accessible and beginner-friendly.
The top header of the interface consists of the search bar, profile, setting and notification options.
The left side of the page includes the members’ tab, all the spaces that you create inside your community, and the links tab.
The right side of the dashboard consists of the button to create a new post and your trending post(s).
And lastly, in between, you will be able to see all the published posts and even sort them based on the latest, new activity, oldest, popular, based on likes, etc.
Overall, the user interface of Circle is clean, simple, and user-friendly.
2. Customization Options
Circle also provides users with extensive customization options that allow you to create and manage your online community exactly as you see fit.
For example, you can customize the look and feel of your community by adding a custom logo or color theme.
Alternatively, it has a wide selection of pre-built themes that you can easily apply to your community.
You can also customize the permissions and settings of your community to control who can join, what content is shared, and how discussions are moderated.
All in all, Circle.so’s extensive customization options make it easy to build an online community that meets your exact needs and requirements.
Also, it is known for its robust spam-fighting algorithms, which help to keep conversations on track and prevent spam from ruining the quality of your community.
For instance, Circle.so’s algorithms are designed to automatically identify and remove spammy or off-topic posts. This helps to ensure that discussions stay on topic and relevant.
3. Creating Forums, Spaces, and More
Circle provides users with a wide range of options for creating and managing their online communities.
For example, you can easily create forums, groups, and pages where you can share content and ideas with others.
You can also create “spaces” that are like mini-communities within your larger community.
Spaces are perfect for organizing discussions around specific topics or interest groups.
This is very useful, as it helps you craft specific niche content for different users that are interested in learning only specific stuff.
Plus, Circle makes it easy to embed multimedia content from YouTube, Vimeo, and other popular platforms.
This allows you to easily add videos, images, and other media to your posts and discussions.
Creating a post in any space has never been easier.
All you need to do is to click on “New Post” button located at the right of the interface.
Once you do that, Circle will bring up a new post editor where you can add text, images, videos, and more.
You can also easily format your posts using Circle’s easy-to-use post editor.
While adding the post, you get the option to add the cover photo, title, text and other media files as necessary.
Upon clicking on the lightning button, you will be able to add and edit content with advanced features.
You will be able to create a different heading, bullet list, blockquote, divider, mentioning a person, emoji, and much more.
In short, you can create the whole blog post thanks to their post-creation features.
At the top, you can select the space where you want to publish and you are good to hit the ‘post button’.
Further, there also is a post setting option where you can tweak basic settings like enabling/disabling comments, hiding meta, pinning posts at the top of the page, etc.
Overall, Circle provides users with an extensive set of features and options for creating and managing their online communities.
4. Live Streaming
Circle also allows you to start a live stream, where you can interact with your audience and co-hosts in real-time.
This is particularly useful for creating a more engaging community experience and enabling users to collaborate more easily on new ideas or projects.
To go live, simply click on the “Go Live” button located at the top right corner of the header.
From there, you’ll be able to give your stream the title, custom URL, stream description and the option to either record or not record the stream.
The best part is that if you choose to record the stream, it will automatically send the downloadable link to all the participants on their email id.
Once everything is set, click on the “Get Stream Access” button and you will be redirected to another popup where it will ask you to set the view, invite members in advance, and even test your video.
The live stream will look something like this:
Fortunately, you also get the option to go backstage virtually, meet the participants and answer their questions painstakingly.
5. Adding Members
Circle makes it easy to add members to your community.
You can do this by manually inviting people via email, or by importing a list of contacts from a file.
To manage members, simply click on the “members” icon located in the header.
You will then be redirected to the page where you will be able to do all the things ranging from checking the list of all the members in your group to inviting and even reinviting them through various mediums.
You can, for instance, invite special members into your community by sending them a personalized invitation email.
Similarly, you can also invite a truckload of people at one go by importing a CSV file.
Lastly, you can also create a custom invitation link for your users. This is very helpful as it also enables your members to pre-join certain interesting spaces by default.
Besides importing the CSV file, you can export the same in case you want to add your members to other platforms like email marketing software such as ConvertKit and so on.
6. Adding Links to Bookmarks
It’s a simple yet quite powerful and time-saving feature.
At the left sidebar, you will see the “Links” option. Click on it.
You will head towards another page where you can add a link to any website or specific webpage you want.
This is very convenient as it helps you bookmark the pages that you access on a timely basis.
7. Weekly Digest
Circle understands that it’s not possible for everyone to be active on the platform all the time.
Keeping that in mind, they have introduced a weekly digest feature where users can catch up on all the latest activity in their community, including new posts, comments, and likes.
The weekly digest is sent out every Thursday, at 9:00 AM Pacific time and includes a summary of all the activity that has taken place in your community over the past week.
You can manage your weekly digest settings by clicking on the “Weekly Digest” tab inside Circle settings.
And just like any other typical newsletter, members can unsubscribe from the newsletter anytime they feel like doing so.
You can embed your Circle community on any website.
Circle also provides an embed code that can be used to embed Circle on any website.
This is helpful for those who want to use Circle as a commenting system on their blog or website.
It’s also useful for those who want to create a standalone community on their website without redirecting their users to Circle.so.
To get the embed code, head over to Circle settings and click on the “Embed” tab.
Here, you can get embed codes for communities, spaces and even posts.
Circle also allows you to create paywalls for your content.
This is helpful if you want to create a premium membership area on your website or if you want to sell digital products like eBooks, courses, etc.
To create a paywall, head over to Circle settings and click on the “Paywalls” tab under Payments.
You will be asked to connect it to your Stripe account so that you can accept payments without any hindrance.
Circle comes with a bunch of integrations that can be used to connect it with other tools and services.
Some of the notable integrations include Slack, Zapier, Google Analytics, Mailchimp, etc.
Circle also provides an API that can be used to build custom applications on top of it.
The Circle API is well documented and easy to use.
Circle provides 24/7 customer support via chat and email.
They also have an extensive knowledge base that is filled with helpful articles and tutorials.
Circle has a 2 week free trial, after which it costs $39 per month for the Basic plan, $99 per month for the Professional plan, and $399 per month for the Enterprise plan.
Circle is a great way to create online communities that engage with one another through genuine interactions, like sharing ideas and content about the books you’re reading or connecting over common interests!
I used it when starting my informal book club – Circle made creating an engaging space for readers easy as pie (and now we’re all talking!).
It is one of the most reliable tools if your business needs more engagement from its members.
The Circle community is also very helpful, so if you get stuck, there’s always someone around who can help you out!