Community tools for my members

  • Updated

Patreon wants to provide great options for how, when, and where you interact with your members. That’s why we’re building better ways to connect you to your members in the environments where they’re most likely to engage across the web.

Below are Patreon’s current community tools and how to choose the best option for your unique community needs.

Community tools overview

 
Community chats
Discord 
Discourse
Community type
Text chat
Voice & Text Chat
Forum
Member-only settings
Exclusively available on the Patreon mobile app. Members have community profiles. 
Member-only, or public with member-only chatrooms
Member-only, or public with member-only categories
Member perks
Only paying members can access your community chat space(s). 
Exclusive text colors
Custom badges
Cost
Free for you for up to ten chat spaces
Free
Free up to 50,000 pageviews (more details below)

Community chats

To have access to community chats, the following requirements must be met:

  • Creators whose work is categorized as Adult content must complete ID verification
  • Creators must have a paid membership tier (Community chats are not yet available for free members)

With chats you can create up to ten chat spaces to interact with members. Build community in authentic environment that you control.

Key features:

  • Start/reply to a thread — Both you and your members can start and reply to a thread
    • App: Press and hold the message you want and tap Reply in thread
    • Web: Click the message you want and type your reply on the right-hand side of the page
  • React to messages — Both you and your members can react to chat messages
    • App: Press and hold a message until you see the option to add a reaction with an emoji
    • Web: Click on a message and select the emoji from the list that pops up
  • Share photos directly from your device – You and your members can share photos directly from your device by tapping on the photo icon  
  • Share previews of your Patreon posts – Whenever you share a direct link to a Patreon post, it will automatically generate a preview, giving your members a glimpse of the post

Community chat is a good fit for you if you want:

  • A private chat space exclusively for you and your members
  • A well-integrated community experience for your paid members
  • Member-to-member conversation

You can create up to 10 chat spaces, customizing them by name, topic, emoji, and they can even be locked by different membership options (tiers).

How do I set up my first community chat?

Click/tap on your Community tab CommunityTab.png from the app or the desktop. From here:

  1. Desktop/Mobile web: Click on Create 
  2. App: You’ll find an existing default chat on the Patreon app. Tap on the chat to write your first message to your members. 
  3. Your chat will be visible to members after you send your first message
  4. Agree to the chat guidelines

Learn about starting your first community chat.

How do members set up their accounts?

There’s nothing that members need to do! As long as they’ve joined one of your paid membership offerings, they’ll see your chats available to them once you’ve sent your first message. Feel free to send members this help center guide to get them acquainted with this feature: Join community chats

Discord

Discord is an all-in-one voice and text-chat for gamers and creators that’s free, secure, and works on both your desktop and your phone. You can offer Discord perks to your members at different membership tiers, like special roles and access to exclusive chatrooms.

Key features:

  • Reward multiple tiers of members with special status and exclusive access
  • Schedule times to go live on Discord with your fans

Discord is a good fit for you if you want:

  • A live chatroom experience rather than a traditional community forum
  • Special recognition for your members
  • Member-to-member conversation

Pricing: It’s free to get started with a Discord account and it’s free to use the integration to connect to your Patreon.

How do I set up my account?

Go to DiscordApp.com and click Open Discord in your browser. This will ask you to enter a username to go through the setup flow. Continue setting up your Discord server by following our guide with step-by-step instructions. Once you’ve got your Discord server set up, you can follow this resource to set up roles for your members. We suggest you watch our recording of our Discord livestream workshop for more helpful tips.

How do my members set up their accounts?

Once you have added Discord roles to your tiers, existing members will be invited to join your Discord server via email. New members will find that Discord is included in their benefits via a thank you email after they pledge. They can also follow our guide to receive their Discord role.

Discourse

Discourse is a powerful tool that makes it easy to run and manage a member-only community forum. Patreon has an integration with Discourse that automatically adds/removes members based on their membership access.

Key features:
  • Special badges for members in your Discourse community
  • Private categories within the forum just for members
  • Optionally, make your entire forum only for members
  • Excellent Q+A features
  • Polls
  • Customize the look and feel of your Discourse to fit your brand

Discourse is a good fit for you if you want:

  • Member-only Q&A’s
  • Member-to-member conversations
  • Deeper discussions in a member-only space
  • A place to receive and critique your members’ creative work, or have your members share their work with other members
  • A long-lasting hub of all the convos between you and your members

Pricing: Creators with $50 or more in weekly memberships are eligible for free hosting (up to a 50k per month page limit and on a .discourse.group domain only). Those who exceed the limit can opt to pay for hosting at a 50% discount directly through this URL, or move to free self-hosting. You can use Patreon’s Discourse integration at no extra cost.

How do I set up my account?

To set up your Discourse account, please follow our Discourse set-up guide.

How do my members set up their accounts?

After a member joins your community, they can visit your Discourse forum website and sign in using their Patreon credentials. This adds them automatically to the ‘members’ group.

How to notify your members

Once you’ve decided which solution you want to use for community interaction, you’ll need to let your members know about their new perk. You can bulk message them using Patreon messaging to give them instructions to sign up for your new community. Here is a sample message you can use or adapt as needed:

 

Dear members, 

I’m excited to announce a new benefit starting this ___ for my $___ members: I’m starting a new community forum where members can host discussions and ask me questions. I know you’ve gotten used to interacting with me on Patreon, but this new community offers even more ways for both me and you to interact.

Here’s how to get set up:

[Provide set-up instructions for your members]

Can’t wait to find you there! 

Still want to stay in touch with me via Patreon? You can always send me a direct message by clicking the message button on my Patreon.

Thanks!

Best,
Your creator

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