Facebook sets you Free with Export, pulls you Back in with Groups

Facebook has recently announced the launch of an improved Groups product. The new changes would make Facebook groups a much more integral part of the Facebook experience. Along with a new look interface users also get a variety of features to choose from. The reason behind this new initiative is to enable users to communicate in a more streamlined way with their friends.

Another new feature launched is the ability for users to export or download their entire history of Facebook activities which might include photos, messages, chats, links and so on. With this update Facebook has made it easier for members to use the data any way they want to.

An extension of your groups in life

Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerburg and VP, Chris Cox have stated the company’s opinion that Groups is a more effective representation of the groups in our own life with whom we interact habitually. For example, it could be a group comprising only of your family members or childhood friends or colleagues.

Facebook however may have to come up with some guidelines in the near future to define how groups and pages are basically to be used to ensure some transparency. As of now it’s left to the discretion of the user to create and manage their groups.

Making it easier to interact with your friends

Users can now create and add any of their friends to that group. Their friends in turn can also add other friends once they are part of the group and so on. Privacy concerns are also addressed as users have the option to share group activities only with the group members. Users can also mark the group as “secret” so its existence remains hidden from others within Facebook as well as from search engines.

A conversation within a conversation is what the new feature will enable. We might see users being more group conscious and increasingly identified according to what groups they are a part of. This would decrease the randomness often associated with Facebook Friends Lists.

What features are available for users?

  • All members can send messages to any other member
  • Group Chat lets several members chat at a time
  • Ability to post Docs
  • Export feature to ensure data portability
  • Option to keep group discussions private

Messages can now be posted by any member of the group, with notification going to all members, something which was the sole privilege of the administrator. Members can also opt-out of the notification list by way of an Edit Notification tab located at the top right of the screen.

Group chat, as already discussed, will allow members to converse by way of a single chat window. The chat rooms though may provide a lot of noise with the unofficial limit said to be about 250 people at a time. Another feature worth mentioning is Facebook Docs, which allows users to post text documents along with markup options.

All in all Facebook Groups is set to make an impact on the social media and marketing scene in the days to come.

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