|Hi, it's Yury and Steve from Openland (https://openland.com). We make it easy for any person or business to build a chat community.|
We believe that in the next five years there will be a massive shift from audiences (top-down content broadcasting) to communities (two-way communication between organizers and members and among members). For members, communities fulfill fundamental social needs: new friendships, safe space for self-expression, learning from peers. For organizers, communities help collect leads, sell, drive customer success, or earn direct revenue from members.
Today, building a great community is super hard. Getting people in one place, explaining and enforcing the rules, collecting member info, and interacting in a scalable personalized way takes a huge amount of time.
That's why we've built Openland. At its center, there's a new fully-functional messenger, comparable to FB Messenger or WhatsApp. On top of that, we added tools for onboarding, automated messaging, integrations (CRMs, etc.), analytics, and paid memberships. Community automation is what sets Openland apart from other messengers and community platforms.
Openland has actually started as a marketplace for urban land. While working on its messaging module, we realized that professional messaging in general is much underdeveloped and our talents are better suited for building a horizontal messenger than a vertical marketplace. We made a pivot shortly after YC graduation and spent the next two years quietly building a new messenger for communities.
Since our soft-launch this Summer, 250+ communities launched on Openland around educational programs, professional services, tech products, content creators, and nonprofits. There are also standalone communities built from scratch. The largest community has 14k+ members who've already sent 500k+ messages. Openland is free to use. Today, we take a small revenue cut from member-supported communities and will add premium plans for business-led communities later in the future.
If you want to start a community for your customers, students, fans, or followers, we'd be delighted to help. To coordinate, ping Yury at https://openland.com/yury or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Openland is built on FoundationDB, Node.js, and React Native. For anyone interested in messaging tech, we share our engineering lessons at https://openland.com/tech.
We’d love to hear your thoughts and questions. Do you run a community? Thinking about starting one? What tools have you tried so far? What worked and what didn't?