A few projects that I have been working on lately have necessitated research into Facebook features and functions. Groups were on my list this week. What I discovered first was that Facebook released a new design for groups in October 2010—that’s right a year ago, where was I? No matter, I know about it now.
I joined a few groups a long time ago, but they have not been active and I have not even looked at them since I joined them. I understand this is a common experience. As I did my research, I had some questions about groups and the new design and I found the answers which I will share with you.
Why start a Facebook group?
According to the Facebook Help Center, “Groups provide a closed space for small groups of people to communicate about shared interests. Groups can be created by anyone.” Possible groups that come to mind are families, book clubs, ministry groups, alumni, a sports team, etc.
What kinds of groups are there?
A Facebook group can be 1) closed–anyone can see the group and it members, but only members see what members post; 2) open—anyone can see the group, who is in it and what members post; 3) secret—only members see the group, who is in it and what members post.
What can group members do?
Besides the usual Facebook postings, members can add other members (only the administrator could do this before); live chat with members—not officially stated anywhere I could find, but it seems that you can have a group as large of 250 in the chat room at once; and post and modify documents. By default all members receive a notification when new content is posted.
What will happen to the old groups?
At some point, Facebook will “archive” old groups and if they are still active, convert them to new groups. Wall posts, photos and discussion threads will move to the new group format but group members will have to be re-added.
What is the Difference Between a Page and a Group?
The Facebook page is meant to promote brands, businesses, organizations, special events, etc. They are public sites which anyone can “Like.” The Administrator of a page has access to analytics through the Insights feature. Groups are intended for interest based communication and collaboration and have more privacy options.
Do you belong to a Facebook group? Tell us about it.