Facebook continues to put more focus on groups, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg previewing their in-development groups tab, which will soon be made available within the main app.
Announced as part of his F8 keynote, Zuckerberg also revealed that group usage continues to rise, with 1.4 billion people now using Facebook groups every month.
The new tab will make groups more easily accessible, and will also include a discovery element, highlighting potential communities of interest, based on your activity and location.
Also included in the new groups tab will be ‘Watch Party’, which enables Facebook group admins to share public video clips with their members, and for those viewers to then comment and discuss the content in real-time, similar to how you interact with a Facebook Live video.
Facebook’s been looking to tap into the popularity of live videos, and communal viewing, adding group video options to Instagram, Messenger, and through a standalone app Bonfire (which is not available in all regions). Watch Party will further add to this, while also helping to facilitate the sharing of Facebook video.
Since the announcement of Facebook’s major News Feed re-focus earlier this year, groups have been discussed as a potential option to stem your losses, with the engagement opportunities providing new ways to connect and boost interaction. Given the News Feed update is focused on person-to-person discussion (over person-to-page), it makes sense to put more focus on groups - though the effectiveness of this approach will, of course, be relative to your aims and the time you have available to build your community.
Is it worth investing more time in groups, given Facebook might just change its mind and reduce their reach at some stage? It’s hard to say, but definitely, Facebook is pushing groups hard, and there is potential to boost community, which could have broader benefits.
Facebook’s new groups tab will be rolled out soon.