Yesterday, Facebook hosted its first ever Facebook Communities Summit in Chicago with hundreds of group admins where new features were announced to support their communities on the platform.
CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg kicked off by celebrating the role Groups play in the Facebook community and thanking the Group Admins who lead them. He also announced a new mission for Facebook that will guide their work over the next decade: Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.
An important part of delivering on their new mission is supporting group admins who are real community leaders on Facebook. Facebook is adding several new features to help them grow and manage their groups:
- Group insights:group admins have told Facebook consistently that having a better understanding of what’s going on in their groups would help them make decisions on how to best support their members. Now, with Group Insights, they’ll be able to see real-time metrics around growth, engagement and membership — such as the number of posts and times that members are most engaged.
- Membership request filtering: admitting new members for admins is one of the most time-consuming things they do. So, Facebook built a new feature that allows them to sort and filter membership requests on common categories like gender and location, and then accept or decline all at once.
- Removed member clean-up: to help keep their communities safe from bad actors, group admins can now remove a person and the content they’ve created within the group, including posts, comments and other people added to the group, in one step.
- Scheduled posts: group admins and moderators can create and conveniently schedule posts on a specific day and time.
- Group to group linking: Facebook is beginning to test group to group linking, which allows group admins to recommend similar or related groups to their members. This is just the beginning of ways that Facebook intends helping bring communities and sub-communities closer together.
In Chicago, Facebook celebrated groups built around local neighbourhoods, shared passions and life experiences. For example, some of the groups and admins that attended include:
- Terri Hendricks who started Lady Bikers of California so that women who ride motorcycles could connect with each other, meet in real life through group rides, and offer each other both motorcycle-related and personal support. Terri says that when she started riding motorcycles it was rare to see other women who rode and that across the group, there is “nothing that these ladies wouldn’t do for each other.”
- Matthew Mendoza, a recovered addict, started Affected by Addiction Support Group. The group is a safe space for people who are experiencing or recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, as well as their friends and family, to offer support and share stories.
- Kenneth Goodwin, minister of Bethel Church in Decatur, GA and group admin, uses the Bethel Original Free Will Baptist Church Facebook group to post announcements to the local community about everything happening at Bethel. The admins will often share information about events, share meeting times for their small group ministries, and go Live during sermons so people who cannot attend can watch from their homes.
Facebook plans to host more gatherings of group admins like this in different regions in their efforts to bring communities together.