Little by little, Facebook members are discovering the dark side of the new Facebook groups.
In The Problem with Facebook Groups, I complain that old Facebook Groups lack member engagement. Members aren’t notified when content is added to the group and only learn of new posts or comments if by chance they visit the group’s page or if a moderator broadcasts a message to them.
Problems with New Facebook Groups
The new Facebook groups have the opposite problem. By default, a member is notified every time another member posts. If the new Facebook group is large, members will be bombarded with unwanted email notifications and chat window popups. The engagement problem is solved, but a new notification problem is created.
Users who are bothered by the quantity of email notifications can change their notification setting to “only posts I am subscribed to” and reduce or eliminate the notification problem – once they figure out how to do so.
However, there’s a bigger problem not yet mentioned: One can be added by Facebook friends to new Facebook groups without pre-approval. Therefore, before one knows what’s happening, and before one can leave the group or change one’s notification setting, emails start flowing into his or her inbox, seemingly out of nowhere. Sounds like fiction, but I’m not making this up!
Marketing vs. Collaboration
These problems render the new Facebook groups, as currently formulated, totally unsuitable for Facebook marketing.
On the other hand, new Facebook groups work very well for collaboration, especially with their group document creation and editing capability.
New Facebook Group for GroupGain Collaboration
I’m working closely with a team of interns promoting GroupGain, a social networking site for group buying with a unique twist that’s launching soon. We have a new Facebook group that’s tiny, has just nine members, and each of us knew in advance that we’d be added to the group. As a result, there haven’t been any problems associated with our new Facebook group.
More Information about New Facebook Groups
I suggest you read Facebook Groups – A Walkthrough of Group Email, Docs, Chat, and More for the new Facebook groups basics, and Facebook Groups Spam and The Notifications Dilemma, as well. Both pieces are featured on Inside Facebook.
New Facebook Groups Verdict
If the new Facebook groups would require members to opt-in, not opt-out, members wouldn’t be taken as much by surprise. Until Facebook makes some adjustments, I give the new Facebook groups a thumbs-up for group collaboration (or small-scale networks) and a thumbs-down for marketing (and large-scale networks).
Having been forewarned, you my join my new Facebook group if you dare:
Have a new Facebook groups war story to share with us?
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