Circle.so is one of the top platforms for building online communities, and the free mobile app for end users is one of its standout features.
But apart from the free app, you can also get your own branded mobile apps with Circle.so Plus, its premium offering.
In this article, we’ll explain what Circle Plus is, what features it includes, and how much it costs. We’ll also give you insights into how the branded mobile apps work, the user experience, and more.
Without further ado, let’s get into it!
What Is Circle Plus?
Circle Plus is the high-end version of Circle. It supports all the features that the Circle platform has, plus a few extras.
So with Circle Plus, you can create online communities just as you do with Circle’s regular version. You can add and organize your content, engage your members via online courses and livestreams, and manage other aspects of your community.
If you want to explore Circle’s features in more detail, read our comprehensive review of the platform.
But Circle Plus supports several premium features that aren’t available with the standard offering:
- Branded mobile apps: Get a branded app for your community for both iOS and Android devices built on Circle’s infrastructure.
- White-labeling features: Add branding to every inch of the platform, including logos, colors, push notifications, and email notifications.
- Design Studio: Circle’s design team creates marketing screenshots, splash screens, and app icons for you.
- Course and payment migration: If your courses and payments are on another platform, the Circle team will move them over to Circle.
- Higher product limits: Get more spaces, moderators, and administrators, as well as increased limits on streaming hours.
- VIP Support: The Plus plan also offers premium support, including a dedicated Circle strategist, office hours, and prompt responses from the support team.
These features are particularly helpful if you’re looking to offer your users a premium experience and are ideal for established creators and brands.
Benefits of Getting Branded Apps Through Circle Plus
When you build your apps with Circle Plus, you don’t have to build a community platform from scratch. Instead, you get an app that’s built on top of Circle’s infrastructure and includes all the features that are already available with the platform:
- Flexible community organization: With spaces and groups, you can easily organize different types of content and control access to it via permission settings.
- Rich discussions: You and your members can create posts with videos, images, and embeds.
- Events and native live streaming: You can schedule and host live events with Circle’s native live-stream functionality.
- Online courses: Circle’s courses feature lets you add a learning component to your community, which is ideal for member engagement.
- Flexible monetization tools: You can create flexible pricing plans with one-time and recurring fees and sell through the platform’s single-page checkout.
- Powerful community management: Circle supports powerful community management features, including a Workflows automation feature, moderation tools, and detailed analytics.
Conveniently, the Circle Plus mobile apps are in sync with the web platform. So, if you make any changes in your web community, you can expect them to also show in your app. That way, your members can seamlessly transition between platforms and pick up where they left off.
Another advantage is that their team manages it completely, so you don’t have to do any coding or app maintenance or hire a developer.
Moreover, you get a branded mobile app in as little as six weeks. This is a remarkably expedited process compared to building an app from scratch.
And the best part is that you don’t have to start on Circle Plus. Rather you can start on one of Circle’s regular plans and build and grow your community. Then, when you’re ready for a branded mobile app, you can switch to Circle Plus without any disruption.
This allows you to explore the platform’s capabilities and create a strong base before committing to a bigger investment.
The Circle Plus Mobile App Experience
To get a firsthand experience of communities hosted on the Circle Plus mobile app, we signed up for the Rebellion community and explored its mobile app.
It offers a frictionless login process, wherein members need to enter their email address and type in the verification code sent to their inbox.
The first thing members see is an opt-in notification pop-up, which allows community owners to send branded push notifications.
The app’s homepage features a pinned space, below which you’ll see groups containing spaces with different types of content. Members can join the spaces they’re interested in and receive notifications about the latest activities in those spaces.
The app also has an intuitive menu at the bottom of the screen, allowing users to check their notifications, add posts, and search through the existing content and members using the search bar functionality.
Next, the app features events, podcasts, and courses but reserves the latter two for paying members. Because the app doesn’t support in-app purchases, members must subscribe to a membership plan through the web platform to unlock premium content.
Overall, the branded mobile app experience is excellent and pretty similar to Circle’s free mobile app. So, you can always download the free app and test the user experience by signing up for one of these Circle communities.
The only downside of the Circle Plus apps is that they don’t allow users to create an account via their mobile devices. Instead, they first need to visit the web community and create an account, and only then can they sign into the app.
For example, we installed the Exit Five app, and once we landed on the app’s welcome screen, we only had the option to sign into our account.
Considering this limitation, the Circle Plus apps won’t work for mobile-first communities.
However, if you’re using the web platform for your Circle community and want to extend user accessibility by enabling the mobile experience, the branded app is a great choice.
Getting Started With Circle Plus
Circle doesn’t publicly disclose the pricing for its Plus plan, and you’ll need to contact its sales team to get an exact quote.
However, to the best of our knowledge, the expected cost is $30,000/year, and there’s also the option to get a quarterly subscription. The price is steep, but it’s a minor investment compared to building a custom app from scratch, which can cost a few hundred thousand dollars.
Now, let’s briefly go through the process of signing up for Circle Plus.
The first step, obviously, is to contact Circle’s sales team to get a quote. You’ll then need to make a payment and sign a contract to kickstart the process, which includes getting in touch with the Circle team to discuss the app details.
During the third step, the Circle team works on the app design and migrates payment data and courses if these are already hosted on another platform. After that, they submit the apps to the app stores, and after that, the apps go live.
In addition to a branded app, Circle Plus customers get support calls on a regular basis even after the apps are live. So you don’t have to worry that Circle will set you up and leave you drifting in the wind. The team will provide support every step of the way.
With Circle Plus, you can get a fully branded app without having to manage its technical aspects, such as app development or maintenance. You’ll get a ready-to-use product powered by Circle’s excellent community-building features.
Circle Plus is ideal for established creators, brands, and large communities that want to maximize their brand’s exposure and enable access to their communities across devices.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article and that we could all the information you need about Circle.so Plus. If you have any questions, leave us a comment below!