Facebook Groups- Old feature, new announcement

October 7th, 2010 by Search Influence Alumni

Yesterday afternoon, Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg announced a “simpler way to communicate with the whole family” by upgrading the long forgotten Groups feature. While what used to be Groups became Pages as Facebook became more of a marketing platform than something for giddy college students to waste time on, the Groups feature languished as a poor “early adopter” penalty — a ploy used by far too many technology companies.

The new Groups -- Different then the old Groups?

So, instead of Facebook being used for a bunch of unconnected people with similar interests, Groups has been reimagined as a way for smaller groups of people with real personal connections like “your family, your soccer team, your book club.” Members of a group, invited by the owner and other members, will be able to chat with each other in a group chat room that won’t be visible on your wall unless you want it to.

…But that’s about all that Groups offers. Sure, like anything else with Facebook, you’ll receive spam an email whenever someone posts (though you can turn this feature off). The other real innovation—an email address that posts to the group—is more related to the second announcement in Zuckerberg’s blog than anything that changes the way the features work now.

The site now lets you export “a copy of the information you’ve put on Facebook,” letting you see your account, photos, and wall posts. While the blog post claimed it’d be ready today and this shows it, my account hasn’t been upgraded yet.

Facebook still isn’t quite sure what users might do with this feature except use it to backup files, but combining it with an ability to influence users while away from Facebook might open doors for new avenues for trying to market to- and interact with- users.

Where's my new feature?