Today, I wake up and find that Facebook has solved this problem for me. They have a new version of Groups that allows me (and you and anyone else who wants to) to create a group, invite friends and only post messages to the people in that group.
I know what you’re saying, hey, Cynthia, couldn’t I do that before with the friend labeling system? Well, yes, you could but it was a pain in the neck, wasn’t it? Not at all user friendly but this system is easy-peasy. It’s so easy that it’s already causing a problem.
The new Groups app allows you to add anyone you want to the group and they can add anyone they want to the group and you’re added. No permission asked or needed. In order to get out of a group, you have to actually opt-out. This seems to be a privacy issue. . . but Facebook gets around that by setting the default option on Groups to private. That means that your business will only be shared with a hundred people you didn’t want to friend and not everyone on Facebook.
Groups also has a live chat component which could be very useful to collections of people who need to discuss a project or event. It also has an email option which could become a vehicle for misuse.
From a business standpoint, Groups aren’t much different than what you’re already doing with fan pages. They’re a place to share information devoted to a specific subject and they can be opened up for the world to see. The chat feature is interesting, if you have a fanbase that might make use of it. But the whole point of groups is that it limits information to a select group of members and I can’t see how that would be advantageous to a marketer.
You can read all about Groups right here on Facebook.
What do you think? Is there an advantage to the new Groups feature that I’m not seeing?