As part of Facebook’s Online Communities Summit, the company made a number of announcements related to Facebook Groups. The most notable and controversial will be a test where Facebook will include public group discussions in users’ News Feed and search results.
Facebook shared a variety of updates and changes to Groups in a blog post (via The Verge) including new admin tools to help with Groups safety and management as well as new engagement options like Chat, Q&A, and Prompts.
However, the biggest change and one that will likely create frustration for many is an upcoming test that Facebook will begin “in the coming months” that will see public group discussions pop up in your News Feed and search results. Here’s how Facebook describes it:
To help more people find and connect with communities, we’re going to start testing new ways for people to discover conversations in Public groups on and off Facebook.
You might see Related Discussions in News Feed when someone posts a link or reshares a post on Facebook. This will let you dive deeper and see what other groups are saying about the same content. When you visit the Groups tab, you can see posts from Public groups related to your interests, as well as popular posts across Public groups, recommended to you. You’ll be able to see what people all over the world are saying about the big game, last night’s episode or your favorite band. You may start to see conversations from Public groups more outside of the Facebook app, like when you’re searching the web.
Facebook notes that admins can decide whether or not to participate in the test and will have the ability to use the post-approval feature.
When we start to test this in the coming months, admins will have the option to include their groups in this new Public groups experience. During the opt-in process, you’ll be able to turn on post-approvals for your group, which will apply to everyone, including new members and non-members. Read more about the controls you have in our Privacy Matters post.
What do you think about the upcoming test? Something to make your News Feed worse or do you welcome it? Share your thoughts in the comments below!