Community chats and the future of fandom

April 3, 2024

Today, community chats are expanding to help creators and fans form even stronger, safer, and more direct connections on Patreon.

Energized fandom is the lifeblood of professional creativity, but lately it has become harder than ever for creators to build. As more and more platforms prioritize consumption over community, creators and fans have been left craving dedicated spaces for real, direct connection.

Last year, Patreon launched community chats, a new way for creators to connect with fans – and for fans to connect with each other – in real time, directly on Patreon. Right away, hundreds of thousands of members across tens of thousands of creator communities jumped in, starting conversations that have led to deeper relationships and stronger fandoms.

“It’s such a fun place where we get to catch up with our community on a more personal level every day,
and for our fans to share with each other.”
– The Girls Bathroom

But this is only the beginning. We’ve been speaking directly with creators and fans about ways to improve chats to provide even more of that connection they’ve been yearning for. Today, chats are expanding to be even safer, more accessible, and more expressive.

1. Chat from anywhere

Starting today, creators and fans can access chats on web as well as mobile. This has been hotly requested, and allows creators to meet fans where they are, whether that’s at home or out in the wild.

“Members who don’t have the Patreon app have constantly expressed how much they felt like they were missing out on the group chat experience. With chats now available through the website, many more members feel included.”
– The Queen Po

2. Connect with even more fans

In recent months, free membership has allowed creators to directly reach and connect with an even bigger portion of their fandoms by allowing all fans to get involved in the community, even ones who aren’t ready to pay right away.

Patreon is now testing a new feature to let creators choose whether a given chat is available to all members, paid members only, or just to members of a select tier. With the ability to open up chat access and include free members, creators will be able to spark even more energized conversations and deepen relationships with even more fans.

“What I love about using chats for free members is that it allows people to be a part of my community, and really get a full understanding of what makes it so special.”
 – Gunnar Deatherage

3. Keep the conversation safe

We recently refreshed our platform-wide Community Guidelines designed to keep creators and fans safe across all of Patreon, including chats. But we also understand that each community is different, and creators know best how to navigate the unique cultures of their own fandoms.

To that end, creators on Patreon can now assign trusted fans or teammates as moderators. This puts the power in creators’ hands to develop the dos and don’ts specific to their own authentic, nuanced communities.

4. Be you. Do your thing.

Chats already offer a broad range of emoji reactions and in-line image sharing, but soon creators will gain access to even more personalized expression tools, including video stickers.

Creators will be able to record a short video response and add it directly onto a fan’s message as a reply, all natively in chat. Not only is this a great way for creators to express themselves more authentically, it also allows fans to receive personal video sticker responses from creators they love.

The future of fandom is heating up
Patreon will continue to put creators and communities first, working hard to build spaces where direct creator-to-fan and fan-to-fan relationships are stronger than ever.

Ultimately, the more that creators are able to form real, direct, energized connections with their fandoms, the more they’ll set themselves up for long-term fulfillment and success, both creatively and financially, for years to come.

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