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Facebook groups

Facebook to offer all-new experience for public groups

Facebook groups

Facebook to offer all-new experience for public groups

Facebook has announced a new “Public Groups experience” and a new host of tools for admins.

There are two types of groups on Facebook: public and private. With private groups, posts are hidden until a user becomes a member. With public groups, as the name suggests, posts can be viewed by anyone, regardless of membership.

Now, in a move set to “grow communities”, the social network is launching a new experience, with all-new features for public groups.

Expanding reach

The new experience will help to make public groups more accessible. Over time, users will be able to discover content from public groups in more places – both on and off the social network. This will include public group discussions appearing on people’s news feeds.

Instant membership

In order to make it easier to join public groups, users will be able to join without having a request approved by an admin. However, group admins will remain in control over who is allowed to comment and post.

A visitor experience

Interestingly, admins will be given the option to allow “visitors” to contribute to their public groups. Without being a member of the group, visitors will be able to take part in discussions and can choose to become members at any time.

Greater admin tools

Due to the increased reach, instant membership and option for visitors to contribute, Facebook is also providing admins with an expanded set of tools in order to keep their groups safe and conversations a high quality.

These new tools include Participant Approval, which allows admins to review any post or comment a member or visitor makes in a group for the first time. Once approved, the user will be able to post and comment on future posts. Existing members prior to the experience change won’t need approval again.

Admin Assist is the second big tool being released. This has been created to help admins save time and reduce the material they need to review manually by automatically running moderation tasks. This tool can be used to restrict posts based on content quality (for example, by declining posts that contain URLs or specific keywords), remove posts and turn off comments, and limit group participants by automatically rejecting posts from new members and users with no profile photo. Admins will remain in full control of their groups, with the ability to undo actions made by Admin Assist and refine the criteria over time. Pre-set criteria can be used to help get started with the new tool.

Additional benefits

Along with these tools, group rules will be made available in more places, and admins will soon be able to tag rules in posts and comments to remind members. Group Insights is also being expanded to provide admins with more data on engagement and growth.

Facebook has said that select admins of public groups will have the option to take part in the new experience before it’s rolled out across the board. It also noted that once the switch has been made, it will not be possible to switch back to the old style of public groups.

These new updates and admin tools are ultimately set to help public groups on Facebook grow, and businesses who run groups should keep an eye out for their invitations to change to this new experience over the coming months. If you’re interested in establishing a presence for your business online, give our team at Engage Web a call.

Emily Jones

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