Facebook rolls out new tools for Groups to keep communities connected

Facebook announced a new range of powerful tools and features for Facebook Group administrators. Here’s what you need to know.

Ten-year anniversary

Can you believe Facebook is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Facebook Groups? To celebrate, Facebook will be rolling out the new Brand Collabs Manager.

All the new features were designed to make engagement in Facebook Groups easier, and to assist Facebook Group administrators in supporting their communities.

Support during COVID-19

In addition, the Brand Collabs Manager also assists admins in making money from public groups. Facebook explained that the purpose of creating communities was highlighted in a recent YouGov survey.

Approximately “97% of South African respondents said they have given some form of support to others during the COVID-19 pandemic through their preferred Facebook group/community”.

“What’s more, 81% of people surveyed say the most important group they are part of now operates online (46% primarily online, plus 36% both online and offline)”.

Facebook press release

There are currently millions of active communities on Facebook, visited by more than 1.8 billion Facebook users every month; not to mention the 70 million admins and moderators.

The need to socialise during a pandemic

In a time when we have social distancing protocols and lockdowns in place, millions of people needed another outlet, a place to socialise and interact with other humans, even if it’s online.

Kiran Yoliswa, Community Partnerships Lead, Facebook Middle East and Africa, explains that surviving the COVID-19 crisis is a reminder of how online communities can be a lifeline.

“More than 25 million people in South Africa are members of Facebook groups active in the past month, coming together to talk about their interests, learn new things, be entertained, support each other and make connections. With that in mind, we are excited to offer new features that will help admins and groups spark discussions”.

I’m an introvert and I thought I would easily make it through this pandemic. However, things took a dark turn around August; was it not for my online communities, I probably would have spiralled even further.

New features and tools for Facebook Groups

The features and tools now available to Facebook Groups include:

Branded content for public groups

Use the Brand Collabs Manager to make money from your Public groups by connecting with brands looking to promote their products and services.

Admin assist

Set rules so Facebook can help moderate posts in your group for you. For example, you can decline posts with certain keywords or from people who haven’t been in the group long; or whose posts have been reported in the past.

New topics

Organise content by topic with hashtags and pin a topic to the top of the group to highlight it for everyone.

Take an online course on how to build, grow and support your communities through a set curriculum and exam.

New ways for you to engage and interact

Such as chats (create and join real-time conversations within a group); prompts (start conversations with a new type of collaborative post); Q&A (text-based question-and-answer sessions); and the ability to customise your profile for different groups.

“From the online materials to the exclusive group of Certified Community Management Professionals, this program has been incredibly helpful in delivering a wealth of wisdom for curating and managing a community. I feel validated in my career path as a Community Manager”.

Emmanuel Gamor, a Certified Manager

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