In the annual Summit for Communities hosted today, Facebook introduced certain new features. The entire event was on a digital medium- following the trend of webinars this year. If you want, you can go back and watch it again.
As it usually happens with such Communities Summit events, the giant social media company declared the launch of new features specifically for groups. Facebook also brought out several new insights about group engagements, usages etc.
Facebook Groups Usage
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it extremely hard for people to connect with others physically. Facebook Groups and other such mediums have given them that virtual connection. And surprisingly, it has created a surge in the usage- with Facebook groups having a population of over 1.8 billion people using it every month. Till last year, there were close to 1.4 billion people using it every month. So this pandemic led to another 4 million users using it this year.
It has been noted that most of the people who joined Facebook Groups did so out of a necessity to stay connected to people. This would allow them to be connected and yet maintain strict lockdown measures. But this also takes into account a whole host of other groups that Facebook removed for several reasons- conspiracy theorists, and troll groups. The CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg explained that Facebook Groups were simply a means of connecting people to communities that had ideas about conducting things during this pandemic. There are strong communities online that help bring people closer, and there can be no doubt in anyone’s mind that this has actually been a job well done.
His idea aligns perfectly with Facebook’s continued push towards highlighting the benefits of Facebook- a rebuttal against all those comments which claim Facebook has always been a major harbinger of angst and division. An ex-Facebook manager mentioned that the company had just one focus- maximizing user engagement- but sometimes it came at a cost. The cost usually involved the social media platform exacerbating disagreements to bring more people to the center.
Nevertheless, it would be quite stupid to throw Facebook under the bus just like that. There have been differing opinions, but no one can negate that Facebook has actually worked a great deal towards improving the connections between people- especially when times are so tough. There are close to 70 million people who serve as group admins throughout the world.
Facebook Admin Assist
In the summit, Facebook announced that it would be introducing a new set of tools for administration of the Facebook groups- something that would bring up more ways for admins to control what their group discusses. They would also be able to manage the entire engagement of the group.
Admin Assist continues to be the biggest addition to this- strictly from the perspective of group management. This is a completely new process that is going to help group admins institute automated rules for moderating posts- which would definitely save them the time of having to go and check every problematic post. One of the easiest ways to do it would be to ban keywords, or links, or any promotional content whatsoever. You could also ban people who haven’t been part of the group for quite a long period of time.
The Admin Assist does cover a completely new range of actions, that helps save time and energy of the moderators. This will allow them to focus on maximizing the engagement of the group, and fostering a sense of community. Of course, there are a few issues which it might not cover, but the spam tools might be hugely important- someone who runs a group is obviously aware of that.
Admin Assist will be there in a few months to all the group admins- but will only be available in a desktop version.
Facebook Group Topics
Facebook is also going to add new topics that are pinnable within groups, and will be separated and highlighted through hashtags. As we have been seeing for quite some time now, Facebook is turning more and more towards hashtags as a sort of content sorting option. There was a new challenge this week, called the ‘hashtag challenge’ which was simply a ploy to increase the engagement of groups. Along with these, Facebook is also planning to launch a new Community Management Certification course that is going to help group admins maximize their potential. This feature would also add new analysis for group activity along with post insights- providing everyone with an option to check up on group engagement.
Group Promotions that would be Conducted via Brand Collabs Manager
Facebook announced the previous month that there would be an addition of a completely new brand collaboration post that would directly be built into the groups experience. This would provide group admins generate revenue through their efforts- as every brand would attempt to reach a demographic of audiences that are highly engaged. Now, Facebook is going one step further- group promotions for its Brand Collabs Manager tool. This feature works in quite a simple way- every time a brand starts searching for partnership opportunities through the Brand Collabs Manager, useful groups are displayed. This definitely helps build new connection opportunities and a chance to maximize revenue. If you tap on a group list, you will find a whole host of insights that focus entirely on demographics, engagement, erstwhile brand partners, and more.
Facebook’s new features should definitely be a blast for the many Facebook groups that pepper our screens today. With lockdown, and quarantine procedures in play, such an initiative seems prudent and necessary.