Facebook to expand groups section of platform

Posted on June 13, 2017


Social networking site Facebook is planning an expansion to the Groups section of its site which will see online communities becoming the main focus of the feature.

The online giant will be testing a Groups section in the mobile version of the site and this will see the icon moved onto the main menu, alongside friend requests, notifications and the news feed icons.

Company chief executive and co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg reckons that groups – a public or private community on the site where users interact around a certain topic – is an essential part of the next chapter in Facebook’s growth plans.

Zuckerberg believes that Groups will help users make the network the go-to destination for meaningful connections and conversations online, as opposed to the generic, light-hearted interactions that many users currently associate with social media.

The new groups tab will be located at the bottom of the iPhone app, situated between Settings and Notifications and has already started to appear for some users in the past few days. The icon shows three silhouettes in a blue bubble. Should a user opt to enter this section of the app, they will be taken to a page usually buried deep within the site’s settings, demonstrating that the feature will soon become a more prominent part of the app.

The Groups section of the app will feature a “Discover” page, where a user can search for new communities that they may be interested in. It organises these groups into categories, such as ‘sport’, ‘food’ and ‘arts and culture’. Furthermore, it will show groups that users’ friends are members of, as well as groups from the local area.

Alongside the “Discover” tab, which appears in the centre of the toolbar, there will be “Groups” on the left, which will show a list of all groups and communities that particular user is a member of, and “create” on the right, which will allow the use to create their own new group.

As with the main section of Facebook, the Groups section will also feature a search bar where users can search for groups based on keyword searches. According to a spokesperson for the company, this will help users to navigate the page more easily and to help them to find more groups that they are interesting in.

Facebook had previously launched a standalone app specifically for groups back in 2014, but like so many of these apps, it gained little traction in comparison to Messenger and the main Facebook app.

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