Facebook Unveils New “Groups” Feature: How will it change the social network?

The social media giant Facebook has unveiled its newest service, a new “group” feature that is slowly rolling out and becoming available to users. This new feature allows users to create public and private groups to participate in communal activities such as group chat, email, photo-tagging, as well as document sharing and collaborative editing.

So how is this feature going to change Facebook? The feature differs from a standard Facebook page because it is designed for smaller groups of up to 250 people and can be set as “secret” if the creator desires. Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg describes the group feature as a “new organizing principle for the social graph.” It is a way to establish more relevant connections between family, classmates, co-workers and teammates.

Since groups can be created and kept out of the public eye it strengthens Facebook’s already sturdy grip on social media communities. This new feature is not recommended for media companies to build an audience, but instead is a place for people to connect with each other in new ways. By adding new types of social connections it will likely encourage the platform to be used in new ways, such as organizing with co-workers, creating groups that have historically been established through email, keeping up with family members, and so on. With this feature, Facebook is now more constructive and attractive to those individuals who are overwhelmed by news feeds or don’t have the extra time to spend on Facebook.

Technically, this new group feature isn’t all that different from the current fan pages. Both allow users to share information on a specific subject. Fan pages and groups both allow you to display information for the world to see, but with the new ability to make a private group, members can be exclusive. The group chat function is a new function not available through the standard fan pages.

We look forward to diving into this new feature deeper once Facebook launches it to all users. Let us know what you think about the new group feature by posting a comment here on The Side Note.

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