If you miss the old AOL chat rooms, you'll love Facebook's plan to combine Groups and Messenger without spamming you to death. As of today, Facebook will gradually roll out the ability of Facebook Group members to launch group clubs about specific sub-topics that up to 250 members can join. They can also start audio or video calls with up to 50 members. A dog owners group can spawn threads to discuss spontaneous park meetings, tips on grooming or sharing photos as their puppies grow up. Chat for groups can make Facebook's discussion forums more real-time and engaging, and enhance the loyalty of one of the most socialized social networking features.
But instead of notifying you of all messages in each thread, you will first get Facebook Group Alert that invites you to each new group chat, so you can volunteer to receive additional alerts. If you miss the first alert, you can always go to the new Chat tab on Facebook Groups to browse the active threads or start a new one. And if a group chat becomes overwhelming, you can turn off notifications about messaging and messenger games, or you can only be notified if you are @ mentioned in the thread. As a last resort to spam, group administrators can always turn off a group chat or restrict their creation to just other administrators.
Facebook has been playing around how it can integrate Messenger and Groups for a while. It already offers group club for up to 250 members of a Facebook event, and in 2016, Messenger tested public discussion "Rome". Now Facebook has decided to build chat as an extension of its existing groups instead.
As the news meeting becomes more political fighting and the algorithms preferences are generalistic content that appeals to everyone, there is less space for niche-interested content on Facebook. It has contributed to an explosion of group chat activity on competitors such as Telegram. WhatsApp upgraded its own group rate with several admin tools in May to combat this threat.
With 1.4 billion people active in Facebook Groups each month as part of tens of millions of active groups, the feature generates a ton of activity and returns visits to Facebook. With Group Clubs, Facebook expects users to "schedule events, arrange meetings in people, or have deeper discussions." Messages can also help Facebook build on the goal of getting 1 billion people to what it calls "meaningful groups" after it was announced 200 million people were already in May. With all the scandals that bother their reputation and concerns as it polarizes the population, Facebook is eager to find more ways to show that it actually brings people together.