Forum owners, how do you "fight" Facebook groups?

I agree that ease of access is probably a significant aspect. But…

Have you considered that design, “friendliness” (of aesthetic), and ease of use or familiarity may also be major factors? I love Discourse, I participate in at least 5 Discourse forums regularly. But I recently started testing out and while it is definitely inferior in many respects, even I actually liked some of its aesthetic and UX choices. More here:


How did you setup the auction and trade sites? Did you use a plugin?

1 Like

anything is possible is you put your mind to it :slight_smile:


this is the ticket. niche niche niche.


How are webstore in Discourse helping fight against Facebook groups? E-commerce is totally different thing than groups or forums.

I have very profitable webshop and really active Facebook group connected to it, and Discourse forum that is practically dead, No one will change from group to forum.

Main reasons are

  • everybody are in Facebook
  • Discourse is way too difficult and editor is strange (I agree, coding scene loves markdown, rest of world not so much)

For me it took about one year to build up active group with 25 000 members. Forum has been up now a year and there is 300 registrations and three active members :upside_down_face:

Yes, 99-1 rule rules :slight_smile:

My target group are mostly women without any bigger intrest to tech — they are the most challenging group to get out from Facebook, I reckon.


In addition to these two I would add the Notification System is way too difficult and strange. When people see “Dismiss” they expect to clear the list, and when nothing seems to happen when they hit dismiss that is extremely disconcerting and introduces doubt into the way everything else works too. I am finding that my users are not able to trace simple things like seeing who has posted what recent updates, and that they way people generally use my other forums (look for the red dot to see “new” events, and navigate to them from the notifications screen) is almost unusable in Discourse.

Would be interested if anyone has suggestions or plugins on how to improve notifications.


Facebook’s app is the killer feature here. Dead easy to set up, push notifications. Easy and snappy to use.

When trying to cure my internet addiction, one of the first things I did was remove the FB and Twitter apps. Worked well to reduce my casual use of those sites.

The Discourse Hub iOS app is a good alternative but not as easy for the user to set up, and lacks push notifications. Notifications really make a difference.

I recently migrated a Vanilla forum to Discourse. It acts as the “discussion section” of a website I run. When I created a live notification badge (just a simple update count) on the main website, showing a count of new posts in the forum, it massively drew people from my website into the forum.

Update badges, push notifications etc, these are things that stimulate interest. At present Facebook does a better job than Discourse Hub. If we could easily “white label” Discourse Hub for our own forums, and get push notifications working, it’d help a lot in the fight against Zuck’s oligopoly.

Note - I think Discourse’s commercial offering does indeed feature push notifications.


无法对抗Facebook群组的,现在是移动互联网的时代。想要网民多使用你 的论坛就必须有在Facebook等平台上无法实现的功能,或者独一无二的让用户喜欢的功能。论坛没落了,全球都一样。即便是在中国,论坛也在消亡。



Unable to fight Facebook groups, this is the age of the mobile Internet. If you want internet users to use your forums more, you must have features that are not available on platforms such as Facebook, or unique features that users like. The forum is gone, the world is the same. Even in China, forums are dying out.


My main Forum is alive and well, because people will still Google (or quack) a topic and be presented with search results that include my niche community near the top.

Facebook can’t do that nor prevent my site appearing.

Facebook has tried and failed to replace the open internet along with Apple and its obsession with native ‘apps’ (which are also dying, paid apps almost completely dead).

It is not the future. Facebook is a passing fashion. Facebook is an enormously expensive facade. Their costs are only going to rise if they are forced to more tightly police content and take full responsibility for it. And in doing so they will also alienate users (and doing a pretty good job at that already!)

The cloud revolution means my costs are tiny!

The open internet will prevail because most technologists don’t work for Facebook and want their products to be visible on search engines.

Reddit is probably a bigger rival but that fight is on more even terms.

I realise the “open internet” is a dream in some countries but it is something many countries will seek to defend whilst others will sadly seek to control it. :grimacing:

We must do everything we can to resist these monopolies!


Well, there is the “web3” decentralization pushback effort, which has some aspects of this covered.

The idea is to create a decentralized web, where users can transport their data from service to service without corporate walled gardens stopping them.

Welcome to our world since 2013, web3 fans … we’ve been waiting for you. :wink:


I just finished reading through the Community has no boundary: Discourse-as-a-Fabric - ideation & brainstorm topic and in light of that discussion I’m very curious to understand how you feel Discourse allows users to “transport their data from service to service”. Isn’t that exactly what that thread is about as a missing piece of the Discourse feature set?


I’m a bit confused here. What data should be able to transport between different Discourses or from/to between other service and Discourse?

Have you read any of the “Community has no boundary” topic I linked to, or anything about ActivityPub, federation, etc? There is tons of discussion about possible candidates for such “portability”, interop, federation, etc. Take your pick. :smile:

1 Like

Most of them. Mostly those texts are thoeretical and not mirroring real world, more or less hopes where communities should evolve.

But can you answer to the question, please? Give me an example.

1 Like

Like I said, tons of actual examples in those topics. But here are a few (these are “real world” in the sense that I would want and use these options if they existed):

  • Shared user profiles and credentials between Discourse instances
    • Activity visible (optionally) across public instances, get a better overall picture of who people are and what their interests and activities are
    • Lower maintenance burden for anyone active in multiple forums who doesn’t necessarily need/want a totally different profile in each one (obviously there should be options for having some settings unique between instances, or all settings if someone prefers)
    • Settings could also be shared, e.g. perhaps you tend to always use particular notification settings, dark theme options, etc, etc. Wouldn’t it be nice not to have to set it all on every new forum you join?
  • Ability to Quote from posts on multiple Discourse instances just like quoting on a single instance
  • Share 1 topic, a tag, or a whole category to another forum with similar or related interests
    • For example you have Sports Forum A which talks about all sports, and then Sports Forums B and C, which talk about Basketball and American Football, respectively
    • What if Forum A could, instead of having its own Categories for Basketball and Football, instead simply “subscribe” to/instantiate Forums B and C into its own Category structure
    • Forum A gains in-depth discussion of topics which are within its area of overall interest (sports), and members of that overall sports forum can engage with more enthusiastic discussion of these sub-areas of interst
    • Forums B and C get greater awareness by being “part of” this bigger sports forum, and gain some users and interaction as well, but also maintain autonomy and control, not all categories need to be “shared”, and they can disconnect any time if they decide they don’t like the result
  • Or let’s say ActivityPub forum (hey, Discourse!) has a Category where they want to discuss existing and possible federated applications, and even advocate for federation in particular other applications/contexts (this is more or less what their Software Category is for, and hey there’s a Discourse sub-category!)
    • What if, in addition to the very few topics created in the Activity Pub forum itself to discuss Discourse, they could also easily include all topics from this forum which were tagged e.g. “#activitypub” or “fediverse” (or both!)
    • Suddenly they see a lot more relevant discussions in their otherwise quiet and seemingly obscure Discourse sub-category
    • ActivityPub and Fediverse experts get to see and engage with the perhaps skeptical about also curious and enthusiastic Discourse community
    • Discourse community gets valuable, expert comments and insight from their forum members, without having to join their forum and move discussion there

If none of that seems compelling to you, then perhaps it’s just not something that is appealing for you. But it seems quite interesting to many people, and I also think that it may simply take actual implementations that people can try, can use, for it to really be clear how this could be beneficial.


Your Post might be equally suited to this Topic: Federation support for Discourse?


There’s also related discussion in Using Discourse as a social media platform - #12 by hellekin and onwards, and I think @merefield and others at Pavilion had and maybe still have interest to explore ActivityPub support, should there be funding available to do so?

1 Like

Any go topics on how to do this on meta or any pointers?

Is it possible to do the same with Telegram channels?

1 Like