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Facebook Testing More Groups Updates, Adding Groups to Main Function Bar

Earlier this year, we reported that Facebook was putting more emphasis on Groups, with new tools like application questions, introductory notes and discussion topics.

Facebook Testing More Groups Updates, Adding Groups to Main Function Bar | Social Media TodaySince then, Facebook has also started allowing some Pages to post within Groups, and to link to related Groups directly from their Page, boosting the marketing potential of the option.

Facebook Testing More Groups Updates, Adding Groups to Main Function Bar | Social Media TodayThe focus on Groups makes sense – over a billion Facebook users are active in Groups every month, and Facebook has noted previously that Groups is an under-appreciated product, and one which deserves more emphasis. And now, Facebook's testing out their next phase in emphasizing Groups, with some users seeing a new Groups tab built into their function bar within the Facebook app.

Facebook Testing More Groups Updates, Adding Groups to Main Function Bar | Social Media TodayThis is not the first time Facebook has tried to pin Groups as a primary function – as noted by Matt Navarra of The Next Web, they actually tested this exact thing back in 2015.

Facebook Testing More Groups Updates, Adding Groups to Main Function Bar | Social Media TodaySo what’s different now?

Well, as noted, Facebook, in general, is putting more emphasis on Groups and boosting Group functionality. Maybe, by making them more visible, in line with these new functions, they see an opportunity to drive more Group activity, building it as a key option.

It could also be that Facebook sees Groups as serving a more important function – as part of his recent manifesto, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted that more than 100 million people on Facebook are members of, what they call, "very meaningful" groups. These, according to Zuckerberg, are groups that upon joining, quickly become the most important part of people’s social network experience and form an important physical support structure.

“For example, many new parents tell us that joining a parenting group after having a child fits this purpose.”

Maybe, as a result of this, there’s been a directive to push Groups as a means of re-affirming Facebook’s position in our interactive process.

Or it could just be that Groups has seen a significant uptick in usage since 2015 so they’re giving it another try.

From a marketing perspective, Groups present a unique opportunity, and the added capacity for Pages to post within Groups, and link to brand relevant discussions (which hasn’t been rolled out to all Pages as yet), could be another key element to consider in your Facebook marketing process. There have always been brand Groups, but giving them a more official process, a direct connection to related Pages, and giving Page admins the opportunity to respond on their brand’s behalf, could make them a far more functional element of your social outreach campaigns.

And maybe, if their test proves beneficial and Groups are added to everyone’s main function bar, it could become an easier way to share relevant information with key brand advocates, without having to pay for reach.

There’s nothing to suggest that this will become a wide-scale roll-out – Facebook tests variations all the time, and most of them never go any further. But it’s interesting to note the ongoing focus on Groups, and to consider what these changes could mean for your process. 

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