November 8, 2021
Meta is offering new tools for Facebook Groups to help admins further develop and engage the communities they manage. New features introduced at last week’s Facebook Communities Summit include subgroups, fee-based subscription groups, real-time chat for moderators, personalization tools and community fundraiser enhancements. Group admins will be able to customize the look and feel of groups, including greetings, colors, fonts and backgrounds, as well as the emoji available for content reactions. Facebook said the changes combine “the best of Pages and Groups into one place,” while making it easier, safer and more fun to collaborate.
The new tools rolling out for Facebook Groups are designed to “empower community builders to accomplish more together,” Facebook explained in a news post. The idea is “to make their groups look and feel unique” as each group develops its own culture.
Admins will be able to “use feature sets to select from preset collections of posts, formats, badges, admin tools and more that they can then enable for their group with a click to customize,” TechCrunch reports. These feature sets can reinforce what the group is about or the type of functionality offered. Customized greetings admins can use to share group information with new members are also added.
Facebook also teased an upcoming enhancement called “community awards” that will let admins reward members for positive participation by tagging posts with badges like “Insightful,” “Fun” or “Informative,” for example. A new Featured section can be added to the top of a group so participating members can pin there by subject, leveraging an update to the Admin Assist moderation tool.
Facebook is introducing Community Chats in Facebook and Messenger that allows admins and the moderation team to chat amongst themselves in real time. The feature is suggested for larger communities that need to make group decisions quickly, such as how to deal with content that may need oversight or removal. Facebook is also testing “subgroups,” which will allow admins to create side discussions for specific topics, regions or occasions.
The ability to create Community Fundraisers brings something of a Patreon feel to Facebook, enabling members “to show their appreciation for their admins and moderators” as well as offering a way to raise money for group projects. Merchandise sales through group shops and paid subgroups that for a fee provide access to exclusive content or experiences can also provide moneymaking opportunities.
TechCrunch reports that “during the tests, admins will receive the earnings from the subscriptions minus the app store fees and applicable taxes,” noting Facebook won’t take a cut of the revenue “at this time,” qualifying “that could change in the future.”