Facebook has released yet another app to add to its arsenal – Facebook Groups.
This isn’t a new feature – Facebook Groups has been around for a long time, and has become a staple to every Facebook user’s social media experience. However, it has been overshadowed recently with the use of Facebook Messenger fast rising to contend with other chat apps like WhatsApp, WeChat, and LINE.
It’s understandable that Facebook would want to expand on its Groups feature, from gathering family to collaborating with groups of people. In fact, Facebook has announced that it has 700 million people using this feature every month. It represents a niche that brings communities together in an organised way, without the mess and disarray from text messages and emails. However, the one question that I asked myself was – does Facebook really need to make yet another app for it?
“We’ve been working on creating the easiest and fastest way for people to join and interact with others within all of their Groups,” a spokesperson for Facebook told Vulcan Post. “By building a separate app, people can easily maneuver between their Groups, notifications and discovering more content.”
With this release, Facebook Groups will still be available from your main Facebook app. However, it’s unclear if it will be removed in the future, just as Facebook Messenger went. If it does, then the question remains – will you be happy to have 3 different types of Facebook apps on your phone?
“We will not split out Groups functionality from the main app,” Facebook’s spokesperson told Vulcan Post. “This will remain a complimentary, optional experience. Given Groups is deeply integrated with News Feed and is central to people’s experience on Facebook, it would not make sense to split the two. Also, we know that some people prefer to interact with Groups through News Feed. The main app is still the best way to do this and we would not want to take that option away.”
So for now, group users will be able to continue using the main Facebook app for their activities if they are short on smartphone space.
Personally, the idea doesn’t excite me. I struggle with phone space enough as it is, and while Facebook Messenger’s app has always played a crucial role in my work and personal life, I’m not quite sure Facebook Groups will do the same. However, with its clean interface and expanded features, Facebook Groups may appeal to the frequent Groups users to manage their several interest groups actively.
If Facebook users decide that 3 apps will be the way to go (not including Pages for Facebook Pages admins), it would be yet another notch on Facebook’s belt. Perhaps we’ll all have a folder for our Facebook apps in the future, maybe for Events and Friends management. With Facebook’s recent foray into videos, that may warrant an app of its own too. Why not?