David Papp Blog

Introducing the Facebook Groups App

Facebook Messenger isn’t the only feature that the social media giant feels is worthy of a standalone app anymore. Fans of the social network can now download Facebook Groups, an app that lets users stay connected with their Facebook groups and join new ones. If you’ve ever felt that the groups feature of the site was underused then this app is a great way to put it on center stage. As soon as you launch the app, you’re presented with a list of groups you currently belong to, with the ones you view more frequently appearing on top.

Aside from checking up on your current groups, you can find new ones with the “Discovery” feature included in the app. It gives you suggestions on new groups you can join based on the ones that your friends are in, your listed interests and even where you live.

If you’re wondering why Facebook felt the need to push a standalone app for groups, it’s because the number of users active in groups is growing at an exponential rate. And though the feature is already accessible inside the main Facebook app, it’s not featured prominently. Most times, users only remember it exists when a notification from a group they’re part of arrives. Now that groups has its own Android and iOS app, Facebook hopes that power users will be able to engage with the groups they’re part of more often. It’s faster, easier to use and access, and unlike Facebook Messenger, it’s optional to download for now.

One of the pet peeves Facebook app users have is that they need to use the Messenger app to send and receive messages. Checking Messenger’s reviews reveals a lot of complaints about what’s perceived as an unnecessary separation, an issue that we expect will come up again if Facebook decides to make Groups a required download as well.

According to a Facebook product manager, more users are active in multiple groups now than ever before – from 500 million users in groups in January to more than 700 million today. The new Groups app hopes to sustain this growth even further.

21 thoughts on “Introducing the Facebook Groups App”

  1. This app seems like a pretty smart idea. Good to see someone thinking outside of the box without going too crazy. As I was telling another app maker the other day, an app idea doesn’t necessarily need to be completely original.

    • Exactly! Originality also can come packaged as improvements. Those the other inventors did not previously thought about.

      In this regard, often subtle improvements build an application preference over another. Even if there is already a popular application offering core functionality, the extra functionality may well build its own niche.

    • This could have seemed a crazy idea for me before I even thought of joining a dutch language group. Because I can see how useful it can be this app now, I might really give it a try 🙂 Specially useful if like me… you rarely use Facebook, but like to still use the Groups option. Very neat!

  2. I was never a fan of facebook, and since I did not use the old applications until now, I doubt whether I’ll also ever use this one.

    I have no problem using it on my computer, with its large and comfortable display, but on my smartphone and tablet it always seemed very limited. Purely due to the limited screen estate and its somewhat different interface. I guess I like seeing “the big picture” and it annoys me feeling I’m watching less than I could do (if visiting from a bigger screen).

    I guess I’m the only one, though, since I keep seeing people hunched over their tiny screens, constantly updating their statuses. Gee… When did I get that old?! 😀

  3. A facebook groups app?

    Do they really need an app for every single feature of the site? I mean, I was even annoyed in the beginning by the messenger app, I still today don’t REALLY see a point in why there should be one.

    However, I’m sure some people will find this useful so it’s good for them I guess. 🙂

  4. I really Didn’t understood The Group App Thing

    Dont Forget to Reply me the Description of this app

    • This is an app so you can stay connected to your favorite Facebook groups. Of course, it is super useless if you are not into groups, but if you belong to at least 2 facebook groups then you should really get it. Right now I only follow one group, but I’m looking forward to find more groups, it’s fun! Plus this app makes it super easy to find more groups!

  5. Wow, I find it very interesting that they now have this stand alone app. It is very true on the fact that people don’t remember the groups until they receive the notices from the group. I think I might actually use this on my phone. I rarely use the facebook app, but I receive messages from people on there often. I think it would make it much easier to communicate to them via phone app. This way I won’t have to continually get on the computer to send messages back.

  6. Very useful for those heavily invested in Facebook groups, and those that don’t use it much anymore can choose not to download it. It’s not a bad idea by all means, good to have all bases covered when it comes to social networking, cover all possible options.

  7. I think this is an awesome idea. It makes total sense to those of us who use Facebook Groups often. I do. As a matter of fact I use Facebook Groups more than any other portion of Facebook. Also, I’m not mad about Messenger being made an stand-alone app. I did not use Messenger much when it was not stand-alone but have been using it a lot lately to communicate with some family members. Peace.

  8. Interesting concept, I am a member of many groups on Facebook. Maybe that might be a good idea, considering many people are in a rush to do most things, finding the right fit for a particular genre of Facebook might be a good thing. I don’t know, it’s obvious they are monitoring what we’re clicking anyway.

  9. It’s a cool concept. As someone who coordinates meetups and thinktanks through facebook, knowing that we can coordinate through facebook is awesome. I currently use Google’s hangout app. I still don’t approve of Facebook’s security and privacy settings for these new apps.

  10. Entirely not needed- they could have just added a feature, or a standalone tab in their Facebook Messenger- why are Facebook adding so many different apps that could be combined?

    • This is purely speculation on my part, but probably so that they can easily mine more data from users. They wouldn’t do anything if it wasn’t profitable.

      • I am in complete agreement with you. They clearly want to examine Facebook groups in more detail and introducing this app is the perfect way for them to get data.

  11. I am so happy that this was introduced 🙂 I have been wanting something exactly like this for so long now it is the perfect way for me to organize my whole list of friends. Al though like many people here I feel like the display on my mobile phone or tablet is different then the one on my computer display and it leaves me feeling a little uneasy as the mobile one is the one I usually use. Anyways all around great 🙂

  12. It’s a great idea. Something that felt like it has been there all along. It’s a useful way to start managing group interaction.

  13. As I said in an earlier post, it’s an interesting concept and I am a member of many groups. Being an author I look for groups of similar interests and this might be a good thing for me to be able to one click and post to the groups.

  14. As an owner/administrator of a growing Facebook group, I find this interesting. Currently, I don’t really see a need for it. Facebook Groups need some serious love before an app like this becomes truly useful. The search function in Groups is abominable, there’s no sort function, there’s no organization. Basically, it’s almost like an extra-large chat room. Improve Groups to make it more *SOCIAL* and an app like this would be useful.

    That being said, if you are a Groups user who is into the Yardsale groups, this *may* be the app for you.

  15. Initially, this looks like a good idea. As with Messenger though, I doubt you’ll be able to simply install and forget. You know when you keep your phone on overnight and get disturbed by Messenger and that awful beep? This is only going to get worse with groups, so any “disable notification” features need to be made as clear as day to people to prevent them from uninstalling out of frustration.

  16. I didn’t even know this was a feature, I’m going to look for it, I have loads of groups on facebook that I’d like to be able to access in one place.

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