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Facebook shifts core Mission to put new emphasis on Groups

     
7:44 pm on Jun 24, 2017 (gmt 0)

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On June 22, Facebook made a number of announcements describing a rethinking of FB's core mission, and a new emphasis on Facebook Groups.

Mark Zuckerberg's address to a meeting of leaders of various Facebook Groups assembled in Chicago, requires a Facebook log-in, and isn't easily summarized. It's substantially paraphrased, with analysis, in this excellent NPR article, which also links to the address...

Facebook Changes Its Mission With Groups Announcement
NPR - All Tech Considered
June 22, 2017

[npr.org...]

For the last decade, Facebook's mission has been to "make the world more open and connected." The company has been so obsessed with bringing more people onto the app, that it tried building drones to spread the Internet to the far corners of Earth.

Today, the CEO explained, Facebook's mission will change to focus on the activity levels of users, and to support the most active so that they can keep building the digital spaces that draw in the masses. In official language, the new mission is to "give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together."

From Facebook engineering, a FB news release describes some of the new tools and features to be made available to Group admininstrators....

Our First Communities Summit and New Tools For Group Admins
June 22, 2017
[newsroom.fb.com...]

The tools suggest that FB is likely to have in mind advertising from within Groups, something that hasn't been allowed up till now.

I've found Facebook Groups to be an extremely useful part of Facebook. At the same time, I've found the accidental connectivity, outside of groups, to be a powerful component of the platform.

As I reflect on these announcements, it's not clear to me whether the emphasis on groups will increase or decrease the insularity of the people that Zuckerberg wants to connect. It's a fine line, and, as I've observed the effects of the internet, it can work both ways.

It's also not clear what effect FB's commercial considerations will have. The complexity of meshing together social privacy with connectivity and advertising has made FB "Pages" more confusing than useful. I'd hate to see that happen to Groups.

7:50 pm on June 24, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I've been utilizing FB groups for quite a while. I belong to several hundred. I get much better response/click-throughs in the groups where it's niche-specific and a targeted audience.

There also seems to be better camaraderie and posts often develop into discussions keeping backlinks in play longer.
8:52 am on June 26, 2017 (gmt 0)

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This is big news.

Reading between the lines, and that's not really difficult on this, Groups are becoming more important, and the huge audience already on FB will see even more groups in their feed. It'll encourage people to join more specialist groups, and it'll profile users even more, making even greater opportunity for highly targeted advertising.
With this move, friends on FB may be becoming less important to the company.
11:26 am on June 26, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It will be interesting to see how it develops. Up until now FB, in general, has been a time draining necessary evil for me. Being a forum owner has become much more challenging because of it. The inability to monetize my groups, in any meaningful way, has forced me to tightly control the members that are allowed to join. It's a PITA.

In addition, FB Groups are rapidly fragmenting information. While it may be good for their bottom line, it's a horrible user experience, IMO. The lack of organized content drives me bonkers :)

I might feel different if I was in the retail space. I know of a few local companies that have been wildly successful driving clicks, and sales, to their eCommerce sites using FB Groups
11:33 am on June 26, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@iwrkalot - FB groups can vary significantly. The groups I use are not anything like you describe.

In my niche, the biggest enemy in groups is all the Youtube video posts that push down the discussion and in turn, diminish the topic engagement.
1:27 pm on June 26, 2017 (gmt 0)

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In addition, FB Groups are rapidly fragmenting information. While it may be good for their bottom line, it's a horrible user experience, IMO. The lack of organized content drives me bonkers :)


Yeah, it's a bad user experience, especially for anything that is other than today. The group posts are so ephemeral, from a time-line point of view. It's a topic, now, but not a topic of a week or two ago, creating far more repetitive messages than a forum.
I agree, it's a disorganized discussion.

Methinks that's how many see it. All that counts is "now", and there's great truth in that.
4:14 pm on June 26, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Groups are already a captive audience which keeps returning. Trying to bring in dog+world is more expensive (and exposes one to laws of other lands). Might be that at this point and time there's more money in the hills already there than the over the mountains and far away hills yet to be added.
1:49 pm on June 27, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I've found some of the groups to be quite useful. For example, I belong to a professional organization that has struggled for years to attract members to its online forum. The forum has never been successful and is nearly dead these days, but the organization's Facebook group is growing.
1:14 pm on July 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I still wonder why people are surprised by this. Entire huge forum boards died because of private groups over the last two years. Many services died because of the same thing too. From babysitters to fashion clothes, advice to emotional health consulting, to gaming, to spare parts for Honda Civic 1999 - everything is on Facebook private groups. And they hate direct advertising. You will get banned faster before you say Zuckerberg made me do it from these groups, the second they smell you represent someone that wants to sell them something.

And if you are wondering how this happened - simple. Privacy! Private mainboard where your opinion will not get indexed by Google and will not be shown. Credibility! All accounts in the group are real people and only a few fake accounts. People with real images, taken from their real phones 5 minutes ago, JUST FOR YOU! Strength in numbers! Even if you mess up, you can always caveat to your real life friends and acquaintances that it was in the most known group for thing X. It just did not work for your case/needs.

Facebook is dead! Long live Facebook.
7:42 am on July 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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... also - A real Facebook town is in the works down in Menlo Park -- Facebook fancies itself going real-time in the future. I guess it's not enough to influence or otherwise control the narrative in cyber space.

Facebook tends to blur the line between work-life and home-life even further with its announcement of Willow Campus, a 59-acre mixed-use development intended to combat the housing and infrastructure crisis in Northern California. Willow Campus will occupy land that Facebook currently owns, offering 1,500 residential units (15% of which will be offered below market rates), office space, a grocery store, a pharmacy, and other unspecified outlets that people frequent in their day-to-day lives.


[latribunadecanarias.com...]

I just don't know. I can barely stand the online version, so a town modeled on the Facebook platform, but only in real-time would probably be a big "Nope" for me.

As far as groups? ... Haven't done groups since the bad ole days of MSN -- Not likely that I'll ever return to the mess.
4:58 pm on July 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Vonnegut's Granfalloon is here! I hope they let us upload group symbols! :-)