Facebook has announced the full roll-out of a new, automatic member approval process for groups, which could help reduce management time for group admins, while still enabling them to maintain some control over group membership.
As you can see in this example, the new process enables group admins to set up to four requirements for automated membership.
Admins can require that applicants:
- Complete all membership questions
- Live within a specific city or region (as listed on their Facebook profile)
- Be approved only if they are friends with people who are current members of the group
- Have been active on Facebook for at least one year
As noted, this enables admins to maintain some level of control over incoming members, even if they're not individually approving each. What's more, these variables can't be falsified or cheated, because they're not manually entered. That'll help provide some assurance to group admins that they're only letting real people in - though it does somewhat reduce their control, which could still allow undesirables to join up. But they can, of course, be removed at any time after as well.
As your Facebook group grows, so too do your management tasks and admin requirements, and approving new members is one of those elements that can quickly become overwhelming. That's generally a good problem to have, but automated tools like this could take a lot of the pressure off, and help admins focus on other, more important aspects, like moderation and maximizing engagement.
And when those tasks also start to stack up, you can tap into Facebook's new 'Suggested Moderator' recommendations, which will highlight active members who could make good assistants for such.
Facebook has made groups a bigger focus in 2019, with more conversations shifting to enclosed spaces, where users can discuss their thoughts and beliefs without having to share the same with all of their connections. That enables Facebook to maximize engagement, but it may also hide some of the more controversial posts in private areas, away from public scrutiny.
Whether that's a good thing or not remains to be seen, but clearly, groups are on the rise, and new tools like this will help admins better manage their forums.
To set up automatic member approvals:
- Go to “Moderate Group” on your desktop computer
- Click on “Automatically Approve Members”
- Follow the instructions to set up your membership requirements
- You can always return to this screen to edit your membership requirements anytime
You can read more about the process here.