There are four different stages for a community: Inception, Establishment, maturity, and Mitosis.
Inception is the first stage of a community's lifecycle. In this stage, the founders are adding most of the topics/discussions and the community does not have any other active users. Establishment is the stage in which more than 50% of the content is added by the members. When a community is in the stage of Maturity, more than 90% of the content is added by members. The final stage is Mitosis, where the community starts to shape sub-communities.
In each stage, a community has different needs and considerations. For example, in the very first days of building a community (inception phase) there are not considerable number of activities going on. Therefore, we remove the timestamps and use “Posted Recently”, we hide question and discussion stats from users, and many other little changes. This will hide the fact that the community does not have significant interactions from unregistered or new members. As the community grows, you will move to new stages where the needs are different. In short, selecting the right stage for your community will enable/disable certain features based on the best practices for that particular stage.
Tribe communities are able to automatically detects the stage of your community, based on the growth and engagement, and do the required settings for you.
Furthermore, the stage will determine part of the community website interface. For instance, when a discussion is added during the establishment stage, the time of publishing will be displayed as well (e.g. Posted 2 hours ago), while in the inception stage, because of the low member activity, the publishing time will be “posted recently”.