Facebook Groups Updates
Asked about your favorite hobby or interest, you pause with a myriad of things in mind to pick and choose from: books, solo travel, Star Wars, Golden Retrievers, unicorn costumes—the list goes on.
Having such quirky interests without anyone to share them with can feel a bit lonely, but chances are there are hundreds of other passionate people who’ve formed communities around these same hobbies and interests. You just need to know where to find your tribe.
Facebook Groups let you join or create communities around the things you care about. These groups can be as small as a science discussion group in your school, your family group for your annual reunion, or a large gathering of WordPress devs from around the world. Whether you’re selling products or sharing your thoughts about your favorite topics, Facebook Groups provide a dedicated space to interact and build relationships with others of the same interests. Instead of just your normal Facebook feed with posts from your friends, you'll also have posts from others who are interested in the same topics as you are.
You'll find Facebook Groups in the left sidebar your account under the Explore heading—or in the hamburger menu on the bottom right of your Facebook mobile app. That'll show the list of groups you’re a member of, groups you've been invited to, and the Discover tab where you’ll find groups you can browse and join. Facebook suggests groups based on the Facebook Pages you liked, the groups your friends are members of, and groups within your neighborhood. You’ll eventually see more group suggestions based on the groups you’re a member of.
To join a group, open the group page and click the blue Join Group button in the top-right corner. You can dive right into existing discussions, post your first group message to the community, or view the group’s members, photos, events, and files. Want to create your own unique group? Click the green Create Group button to start your own community. Facebook will prompt you for your group’s name, the group’s members, and the group’s privacy.
There are three kinds of groups you can create: regular groups, buy-and-sell groups, and school groups. Buy-and-sell groups let you search for on-sale items, post your items for sale, and mark purchased items as sold. School groups are school communities where you can connect with classmates, professors, and friends at your school. To join, you’ll need to go to the School Communities page, enter your college or university’s name in the search bar, and select the school you belong to.
Another feature that differentiates groups is privacy. Admins can choose from three privacy settings: public, closed, and secret. A public group is a free-for-all space where anyone can search and view the group’s name and description, members’ posts, photos, tags, and location. Anyone can join or be invited to a public group by its member, so these tend to grow rapidly in number with little to no restriction.
A closed group requires permission to join, so a newcomer will need to send a request to the group admin or be invited by a member to join. Only current members can see the group’s discussions and Facebook stories, leaving everything else out for people to see. This is ideal if you’d like people to discover your group, but want to restrict group discussions to its members.
Finally, a secret group possesses the highest form of privacy where members can only join if they’re invited by a member. The group’s name and description, location, posts, photos, tags, and search visibility are restricted to current and former members, making this the ideal setting for exclusive clubs and private communities. A group’s admin can change the group’s privacy settings whenever required.
From there, Groups are rather similar to the rest of Facebook—only with a wider group of people than the family and friends that make up your normal timeline. You can post an update, upload photos/videos, ask for recommendations, start a group poll, and create events your fellow members can attend. Members can leave comments, mention others within the discussion, and react to your posts exactly as how you would on your own timeline. In fact, you can see and respond to group updates from your timeline as well. Finally, you can adjust your group notification settings to receive notifications you care about, especially when the community grows with plenty of activity from its members.
At the end of the day, Facebook Groups are all about connecting people with similar interests and passions. You’ll find communities spanning countries and cultures that understand and share in your enthusiasm, no matter how broad or niche those interests may be.