Communities vs group chats – what’s best for you

Communities and group chats are a great way to bring people together and make connections based on the things we have in common, from family groups, to big communities of people who are all interested in the same thing.

When it comes to choosing the right type of chat to open for your group, you need to consider some important questions:

Size really does matter

Group chats are usually smaller and are perfect for private connections. A group chat on Viber is best for chatting with up to 250 members – usually family or close friends. Members are invited to join, or can join by a direct link.

Communities are much larger, public-facing groups, usually made up of people who don’t know each other. A community can have unlimited members, and admins can allow all members to invite their friends to join.

Inclusiveness is the name of the game

If someone joins a group chat in the middle of a conversation, they will miss all the earlier conversation, and it can take some time to catch up. Not really a great way to welcome a new member!

In a community, the entire chat history is available to everyone, no matter when they joined the community. New members can read back through earlier messages, or focus on the current chat and jump right in. The choice is theirs.

Your privacy matters whatever the chat

Group chats work best when everyone knows each other, and feels safe with the other members of the chat. The phone numbers of everyone in the chat are visible, so anyone can message or call another group member privately.

Communities are different. As anyone can easily join a community, phone numbers of members of the community are hidden. This is important to us at Viber – a way to ensure that communities are a safe space for members to meet new people and bond over their shared passions – all without exposing their private phone number.

Everyone in a community (admins included) can choose whether to let other community members message them in a Hidden-number chat. Even if you have enabled incoming chats from people you don’t know, you still have the choice to accept or decline a message from a new person.

You have the power

In group chats, admins can remove or members or add other members.

Communities come with special powers for admins to oversee the conversation. Admins can add and remove members, invite admins who can write in the community’s chat, remove people from the community, ban people from joining or rejoining the community, and appoint other admins or superadmins to help manage the community.

It’s time to take a snooze

In group chats, members receive a notification every time there is a new message. If there is a busy chat taking place, members receive smart notifications (several notifications in one) so that their phones don’t beep too much!

In communities, members can take a break from the community by “snoozing” it for 30 days. Snoozing gives the member a break from the community, but they are still a member. When the 30 days are up, the community will unsnooze, and the community will reappear at the top of the chat list the next time there is a new message.

When it comes to chatting in a big group of people, communities create great connections for more people.

Start making those connections and create your community today. Remember, your community can be based on anything at all, from candle lovers to Kendall lovers.

Read our other blogs in the communities series:

Get Started with Your Very Own Viber Community!

Your time to shine: Manage, grow and engage a Viber Community!

Community Insights: Measure The Success of Your Community

Master your Community: New ways to add members & more

Community Masters: Viber’s tools for outstanding content