Today Facebook hosted its Communities Summit, a virtual event that was attended by more than nine hundred thousand users from across the world. Mark Zuckerberg kicked off by celebrating the role Groups play in the Facebook community especially now when people can’t be physically close and thanked the 70 million-plus group admins and moderators who lead them. Mark said more than 1.8 billion people use Groups every month, and there are tens of millions of active communities on Facebook where people come together to talk about their interests, learn new things, be entertained, and make connections.
Fidji Simo, the Head of Facebook App reiterated on their commitment to reduce harmful content, misinformation and make Facebook Groups safe for all the users, noting that more than one million groups have been taken down over the last one year for violating the policies; one of them is Group Kenya which was pulled down in June this year with over two million members. Fiji announced the following new tools to help admins manage groups more efficiently:
Admin Assist: Sets rules so Facebook can help moderate posts in groups on behalf of admins. For example, one can decline posts with certain keywords or from people who haven’t been in the group very long or whose posts have been reported in the past.
New Topics: Helps admins organize content by topic with hashtags and pin a topic to the top of the group to highlight it for everyone.
Branded Content for Public Groups: Enables admins to use the Brand Collabs Manager to make money from Public groups by connecting with brands looking to promote their products and services.
Community Management Certification: This is an online course that trains the admins on how to build, grow, and support their communities through a set curriculum and exam.
New Ways to Engage With Your Community
These new features will help spark discussions on Facebook Groups.
Chats: Enable one to create and join real-time conversations within a group.
Prompts: A new type of collaborative post which allows one to start conversations by sharing photos about a specific topic and swiping through everyone’s responses.
Q&A: Admins can host text-based question-and-answer sessions that are easy for the community to participate in.
Customize your profile in groups: Allows admins to change the way they show up in different groups by setting a custom profile photo and sharing info that’s relevant to each community.
Discover and Join Conversations in Public Groups
To help more people find and connect with communities, Facebook is going to start testing new ways for people to discover conversations in Public groups on and off Facebook. Users might see Related Discussions in News Feed when someone posts a link or reshares a post on Facebook. This will let them dive deeper and see what other groups are saying about the same content. When they visit the Groups tab, they will be able to see posts from Public groups related to their interests, as well as popular posts across Public groups, recommended to them.
Facebook has made it easy to join the conversation without joining the group, as long as the community allows it. Admins still have control over their group settings, like who can post and comment without approval, and the group rules will be visible to people before they post so as to foster the community culture. The new Admin Assist feature also makes it easy to limit specific types of posts.
Facebook Groups have played a key role in supporting the global public health community’s work to keep people safe and informed during the coronavirus public health crisis. Small business owners that were forced to close as a result of the pandemic found solace by creating or joining Groups to help their businesses revive by reaching a new audience to make sales all through the COVID-19 crisis.