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Where should your community live? Heartbeat or Circle.so?

Danielle Maveal
May 23, 2022

We hear from a lot of our Burb users that they are trying to decide on a place to host their community. They often are deciding between Heartbeat and Circle. Both platforms are really great and have a ton of supportive functionality, so how do you decide? 

The case for Heartbeat

Heartbeat is a newer feature-rich platform. We love the features, and hope Heartbeat sticks around, but it can be hard to build a community on a newer platform, and then have that platform fold, bringing your community with it. Of course, we hope this doesn't happen, but something to consider.

What Heartbeat can do that Circle can't

  • Course and document hosting
  • Subgroups (and even sub-subgroups!)
  • Automated member matching
  • Customized onboarding
  • Has a desktop app
  • More detailed analytics like time to first post and top threads or channels
  • Audio chat (however Circle will roll this out soon) 

From a real Heartbeat community builder: 

"While I have built the most communities on Circle, after partnering with Heartbeat (full disclosure: I am building the architecture for their community of community builders), their vision to create a community platform with an app ecosystem where you can pick and choose which apps to leverage in your community has won me over. Their platform design is focused on making the community manager’s life easier and you feel it when you use it. They are positioned to be the Shopify of community platforms where you can pick and choose the building blocks for your community as you need them." - Bri, Community Platform Comparison: Circle vs. Heartbeat vs. Geneva

The case for Circle

Heartbeat has more bells and whistles, but that doesn't mean it's a better fit. If you're looking for a community platform that will be easy to adopt, Circle might be the best choice. There's also more documentation and resources made to help you build a community on Circle. And, of course, the Burb and Circle integration is pretty powerful and allows you to automate so many tedious tasks! 

What Circle can do that Heartbeat can't

  • Intuitive with a low learning curve
  • Designed for longer, more thoughtful discussions
  • Member badges (public & private)
  • Active Circle community with tons of supportive and free programming
  • Powerful Burb integrations

From a real Circle community builder:

"Circle is my go to platform for a few reasons. I love an asynchronous community that is heavily focused on virtual events/meetups/calls vs online chat.  In today’s online world where everything seems to be happening fast, I appreciate a slower more at your own pace community when it comes to chatting and focuses on building connection through virtual or in person events. With the option to create event-based spaces, forum style discussions, card structure resource posts, live video and new chat features coming soon, Circle was the easy choice for me when it came to choosing the right platform for my community, Helping Creatives." - Sara, Community Platform Comparison: Circle vs. Heartbeat vs. Geneva

We'd love to know what you decide to go with, Circle, Heartbeat, or another platform all together! Tweet at us and let's chat.

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