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.