🔍Hylo Feature Spec

A complete list of Hylo's current feature set and our feature roadmap.

Updated September 2023

Hylo is a free, non-profit, and open-source community platform for purpose-driven groups. Our web and mobile apps feature discussions, requests, offers, resources, projects, events, geographic maps, rich member directories, and direct messaging. The complete User Guide is available here.

Group Features

  • Create - Share a Post (a discussion, request, offer, resource, project, or event)

    • Posts have a Title and Description, and can include links, link previews, images, attachments, embedded video, beginning & end times, up to 3 topics, or a geographic location.

    • Text formatting - bold, italic, headings, bullets & lists

    • Groups - Posts can be shared with multiple groups at once

    • Public - Posts marked Public are visible to anyone on Hylo, and the link can be shared externally and viewed by anyone without logging into Hylo. People must log into Hylo to interact with the post.

    • Availability - For Requests, Offers, and Resources, the post author is prompted to update the post when it is no longer available or when the request has been fulfilled.

  • Stream - Scrollable list of the most recent / popular posts in the group.

    • Sort by Post Date, Latest Activity, or Most Popular

    • Filtered by Post Type

    • View the content as Card View, List View, Large Grid, and Small Grid

    • Search the stream by keyword or #Topic

  • Comments - Members can comment on posts, respond to comments, and add @mentions and images in comments, as well as emoji reactions.

  • Explore - Customizable landing page to highlight most important content.

  • Projects - An association of people working toward a common goal. Members can join a project, and Projects have a timeline, location, comments, a link to external task management, and a link to external donation site.

  • Events - Events have a title & description, times & timezones, RSVPs, and comments.

  • Members - A member directory of everyone in the group.

    • Search by name or by skill/interest

    • Sort by name, location, or join date

    • Click a person to view their profile

  • Groups - Groups on Hylo can be nested. They can be a member of multiple groups, and contain multiple subgroups. This view shows all groups that are connected to the current group.

    • Visualization showing the connected groups

    • List view of parent groups (that the current group is a member of)

    • List view of child groups (that are subgroups of the current group)

  • Map - A full-featured geographic map displaying all content & members in the group that have a location.

    • Click on map pin to view the content

    • Click any location to add a post at that location

    • Search by location, topic, and keyword

    • Saved Searches to easily use in the future

    • Filter map by Post Type, Members, or Groups

    • Change map layers (Basic, Street, Satellite)

  • Collections - Group stewards can collate specific posts into a Collection that they can name and add to the group’s main navigation.

  • Custom Views - Group stewards can apply particular filter conditions to a group’s content, and add that custom view to the group navigation menu.

    • Select one or more Post Types, filter by Active/Inactive, and even filter by up to 3 #topics

    • Option to add an external link to a group’s navigation menu in Hylo

  • #Topics - Posts can have up to 3 topics, and content can be viewed in topic-based channels that can be sorted by Recent, Popular, or by Name, and filtered by Post Type.

    • Members can subscribe to and unsubscribe from topics

    • Members get notifications about topics they are subscribed to

    • Each group can have Suggested Topics set by Group Admins, which are suggested first when members are creating a new post.

    • Topics also serve as chat channels, like Slack or Discord.

Messaging & Notifications

  • Direct Messages - Members can privately message 1-on-1 or with groups

  • Notifications - Members receive notifications for DMs and activity on posts or topics they are following. Notifications appear in-app, and via email or push notification according to the member’s settings.

Group Admin Settings

Settings - Add a group avatar and banner, description, video, and location.

  • Location Privacy - Choose whether to display the group’s exact location or an anonymized location on the map.

  • Moderator Display Names - Specify a special singular/plural name for your group moderators (for example, “Coach” and “Coaches” instead of “Admin”)

  • Relevant Skills & Interests - Add skills and interests that are relevant to the group, and ask new members if they have them.

  • Custom Views - ​​Add custom links or filtered post views to the group nav

  • Group Location Polygon - Draw a polygon on a map showing the territory your group is associated with. This polygon appears on the map.

  • Assigning Roles & Badges - Add/remove moderators for the group and assign additional roles & badges.

Privacy & Access - Choose privacy settings for the group in two dimensions: visibility and access.

  • Group Visibility (Who can see that the group exists?)

    • Protected - Only members of this group or parent groups can see the group.

    • Hidden - Only members of this group or direct child groups can see the group.

    • Public - Anyone can find this group and view their About page or see it on the public map.

  • Group Accessibility (Who can join the group?)

    • Closed: This group is invitation only, and is only visible to members of the Parent group.

    • Restricted: People can request to join this group and must be approved. Note: They can see the group image and description.

    • Open: Anyone who can see this group can automatically join it.

  • Join Questions - For groups with Access: Restricted, admins can specify specific questions that must be answered by people requesting to join the group.

  • Prerequisite Groups - People must join the selected groups before joining this group. Only parent groups can be added as prerequisite groups.

  • Group Access Questions - Questions for other groups to answer when they request to join your group.


  • Group Suggested Topics - Default topics for the group which are suggested first when members create a post. Every new member will also be subscribed to these topics when they join.

  • Topic List Editor - Curate group topics by showing/hiding topics, or pin topics to the top of the list.

Invite - Copy and share the group’s invite link, or send email invitations with custom text via Hylo.

Join Requests - Accept or deny requests from individuals to join the group.

Related Groups - Manage relationships with other groups, request to join the group to other groups, or invite other groups to join this group.

Export Data - Export all member data for this group as a CSV file.

Delete - Delete the group.

Personal Profiles and Account Settings

Member Profile

  • View a person’s location, tagline, “about me” text, skills & interests, and links to other social accounts, plus Hylo groups they are a part of.

  • Click a person’s Skill or Interest to search Hylo for posts, comments, or people tagged with that Skill or Interest.

  • View a stream of all of their recent activity - including posts, comments, upvotes.

  • Click the envelope icon under their banner to directly message them.

  • Block a member by clicking the three vertical dots below the header image.

Account Settings

  • Edit Profile - Members can select a Profile Photo and Banner Image, tagline and description, location, website, social links, Skills & Interests, What I’m Learning, and contact information.

  • Groups & Affiliations - This list automatically shows the member’s groups on Hylo.

    • Click “Leave” to exit the groups you no longer want to be a part of.

    • Add Affiliations to include organizations you are a part of outside of Hylo, with the option of sharing your role and the website of the Affiliate.

  • Invites & Requests - This section contains all open requests and invitations to join groups.

    • You have the option here to Decline or the Join groups you are invited to.

    • You can also Cancel requests to join other groups.

  • Notifications - Change how often you receive an email digest for all your groups on Hylo - daily, weekly, or none

    • Choose to receive notifications via email, mobile app, none, or both.

    • Choose whether you want to receive direct messages (DMs) by mobile, email, or both.

    • Turn push/email notifications on/off for each group.

  • Account - Update email address and password.

    • Deactivating an Account (reversible)

    • Deleting an Account

  • Saved Searches - Saved searches from your Map will show up here.

Members can submit feedback or request support in-app via Intercom. Our team responds within one day.


Hylo is available as a web or mobile application, with iOS and Android versions.

Coming Soon

Features currently in progress:

  • Internationalization: The ability to translate Hylo into other languages.

Feature Roadmap

These are features we’d like to add to Hylo, and are working to secure resources to fund their development.

Governance Tools (The Stewardship Toolkit): Sensemaking and decision-making tools for groups to govern themselves. Polls, proposals, voting, and decision-making systems.

Participatory Finance and Payments: Allow community members to have a say in allocating shared funding pools to deserving local projects. Includes co-budgeting, crowdfunding, and payments for members to contribute money to shared causes.

Paid Group Memberships: The ability for groups to charge members to join, or recurring membership dues.

Community Onboarding Tools & Group Agreements: Community design support and onboarding wizard to set groups up for success through Prosocial principles, using the Prosocial framework for creating cooperative group culture.

Collective Moderation: Transparent and participatory content moderation and clear agreements for safer communities.

Learning Journeys: Hylo’s version of the Learning Management System. We will offer courses that support groups going through a shared learning experience together, leading to a deeper capacity for collective sensemaking. A “Learning Journey” recognizes that everyone has wisdom to share, and that learning is a community exercise.

  • This includes a native LMS / courses module in Hylo, as well as an ability to integrate with Moodle (a well-regarded open-source LMS)

  • Includes a Public Library of courses available to all Hylo users

  • Includes creation of a Prosocial series available to all users, to help groups become more effective, collaborative, and equitable, and to help group leaders uplevel their capacity to steward Prosocial groups.

Bioregions: Place-based tools to connect with people with the land. Nesting geographic groups unlocks a unique and untapped coordination space.

Trust Graph: A reputation layer that allows group members to nurture interpersonal relationships. Shows who members trust in a given domain to make it clear who is best suited for roles & responsibilities.

Project Management Tools: Roles, tasks, assignments, goals

Community Analytics: A dashboard tracking trust, collaboration, and group activity over time.

Mapping for Social Network Analysis: Network maps showing peer-to-peer and organization-to-organization relationships.

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