Facebook is Changing
Facebook has a new focus for the next few years… connecting people to Facebook groups.
For the last 5 years, Facebook was focusing on pages, providing companies with advertising tools and helping them grow an audience to promote their goods and services.
Many have made a fortune off this system but everything is about to change.
Stating the decline of community memberships, the need for connectiveness and the rise of fake news and isolation, Zuckerberg announced to a room full of people that he plans to help 1 BILLION users (That’s Billion with a B) find meaningful Facebook groups (not pages) on social media. He applauds the works of community builders and promises new tools for community builders to accommodate more people.
What are Facebook Groups?
For those who are not familiar, Facebook groups are different from Facebook pages connecting people of similar interest or traits like a group for Startups in Vancouver or a group used as a bulletin board for giving away free stuff in Vancouver. Groups can be global and some are even political/activism in nature. Before pages were introduced to Facebook, groups were big and these Facebook groups making a comeback. You probably have membership with a few of these groups. According to Zuckerberg, the typical Facebook user is part of 30 groups, but they are close to only a few of these groups.
Facebook groups are more communal meaning anyone can post and share. Unlike pages, when you post on a group, you are POSTING AS YOURSELF not as a brand or company. This ensures more transparency but may make things more complicated if you have 5+ people managing the communication.
Groups typically grow organically and depending on the settings, members can add their friends or approve membership requests of people they know.
What does it mean for you and others:
As of the new direction towards supporting Facebook groups by Zuckerberg, we anticipate that there will be winners and losers as a result of Facebook’s new direction to supporting groups.
At YVR We speculate the following:
- Facebook Algorithm will be driving more traffic to groups from feed page and ad slot
- Advertising for pages will increase as ad slots will be replaced by group suggestions
- New tools will be made available for community builders
- There will be a period where it will be easy to grow a group
- Facebook users will be encouraged to be dedicated and establish quality experience in a few select groups
- There will be a rush for groups as everyone is encouraged to start a group based on a cause they’re passionate in
- Facebook could be making a go against Meetup.com?
- A filtering system that separates good groups and bad groups
It is evident that groups will be getting traffic, the question is will you be there to receive the traffic or will someone else (usually some kid in Pakistan or Egypt) raking in the membership and directing them to their click bait sites.
What can you do to prepare for this shift?
- Start a group in your niche (basic prerequisite to ride the wave)
- Provide quality value and content so you become an authority in that niche
- Start focusing on a content plan
You can watch the full speech on Facebook’s new direction by Zuckerberg here: