Supporting Online Communities When They’re Needed Most

By Fidji Simo, Head of Facebook App

Today, we are hosting the Facebook Communities Summit digitally, sharing product updates and educational resources for community leaders. 

As we approach the 10-year anniversary of Facebook Groups, we’re reminded how online communities can be a lifeline when people can’t be physically close. More than 1.8 billion people use Groups every month, and there are tens of millions of active communities on Facebook where people come together to talk about their interests, learn new things, be entertained and make connections.

We know groups need to be safe for everyone, so we’ve made changes to reduce harmful content and misinformation, too. Here are the latest tools and programs we’re announcing today to help communities connect.

More Tools for Group Admins

Admins are at the heart of every community, whether they are Public or Private. In fact, there are more than 70 million people involved in building and running Facebook groups active in the past month. These new tools will help you manage your groups more efficiently. 

  • Admin Assist: Set rules so Facebook can help moderate posts in your group for you. For example, you can decline posts with certain keywords or from people who haven’t been in the group very long or whose posts have been reported in the past. 
  • New Topics: Organize content by topic with hashtags and pin a topic to the top of the group to highlight it for everyone. 
  • Branded Content for Public Groups: Use the Brand Collabs Manager to make money from your Public groups by connecting with brands looking to promote their products and services.
  • Community Management Certification: Take an online course on how to build, grow and support your communities through a set curriculum and exam.

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New Ways to Engage With Your Community

These new group features will help you spark discussions.

  • Chats: Create and join real-time conversations within a group.
  • Prompts: Start conversations with a new type of collaborative post where you can share photos about a specific topic and swipe through everyone’s responses.  
  • Q&A: Admins can host text-based question-and-answer sessions that are easy for the community to participate in.
  • Customize your profile in groups: Change the way you show up in different groups by setting a custom profile photo and sharing info that’s relevant to each community.

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Discover and Join Conversations in Public Groups

While Private groups can help people make deeper connections around shared life experiences, Public groups are open communities for people to share content related to trends, hobbies and humor. They bring together people with common interests, but they can also introduce people to diverse perspectives on the topics they’re into from others with different backgrounds and experiences. 

To help more people find and connect with communities, we’re going to start testing new ways for people to discover conversations in Public groups on and off Facebook.

You might see Related Discussions in News Feed when someone posts a link or reshares a post on Facebook. This will let you dive deeper and see what other groups are saying about the same content. When you visit the Groups tab, you can see posts from Public groups related to your interests, as well as popular posts across Public groups, recommended to you. You’ll be able to see what people all over the world are saying about the big game, last night’s episode or your favorite band. You may start to see conversations from Public groups more outside of the Facebook app, like when you’re searching the web.

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From there, it’s easy to join the conversation without joining the group, as long as the community allows it. Admins still have control over their group settings, like who can post and comment without approval, and we’ll show people the group rules before they post so community culture stays strong. The new Admin Assist feature also makes it easy to limit specific types of posts.

When we start to test this in the coming months, admins will have the option to include their groups in this new Public groups experience. During the opt-in process, you’ll be able to turn on post-approvals for your group, which will apply to everyone, including new members and non-members. Read more about the controls you have in our Privacy Matters post

Communities That Inspire

During the Facebook Communities Summit, we heard inspiring stories from community leaders like Curtis Webster Jr. who founded Dads Married to Doctors (DMD), Ann Pettigrew, a member of What’s This Bird?, and Vitor Del Rey, admin of A Ponte Para Pretxs!. You can hear from some of the speakers from the event here.

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