Facebook Wants to ‘Bring the World Closer Together’

As a community tool, Facebook leaves a lot to be desired. From a community management perspective, administrating groups can be time consuming, with little insight into useful metrics, and limited control.

Facebook have now announced some much anticipated – and long begged for – features to the platform to help group admins more effectively manage their communities on Facebook.

The new admin functionality includes:

  • Group Insights: “Real-time metrics” around growth, engagement and membership, e.g. number of posts and times that members are most engaged.
  • Membership request filtering: Sort and filter membership requests on common categories like gender and location, and then accept or decline all at once.
  • Removed member clean-up: Remove a person and the content they’ve created within the group, including posts, comments and other people added to the group, in one step.
  • Scheduled posts: Create and conveniently schedule posts on a specific day and time.
  • Group to group linking: In test phase, the idea is to allow group admins to recommend similar or related groups to their members.

In announcing the changes at their first “community summit,” Mark Zuckerberg also announced the company’s ‘new vision’: “Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”

As Facebook have apparently just discovered, there is significant power in online communities. Part of that is in building collective knowledge and shared understanding, learning from others in the community and sharing our knowledge in turn. Where Facebook falls down here is its search experience and clunky mechanisms for trying to capture ‘community gold’ – the answers, ideas, and wisdom generated through online discussion and collaboration.

These changes do nothing to address this, and until they do Facebook will remain ineffective – or certainly not as effective as they could be – in the community space.