Was that Facebook Group created by an official member of the company, or just a fan? A new update makes the question easy to answer.
Facebook is home to 70 million public Pages and 100 million groups — and now those two features can overlap. On July 19, Facebook shared the full rollout of Groups for Pages, a way to create what the social media platform calls super fan clubs, from an official source. The update allows users to easily see which groups are officially sponsored and which ones are just created by other fans.
Pages are official platforms for businesses and public figures, while groups are online hangouts for people with similar interests. Traditionally, groups weren’t associated with an official company, but with Groups for Pages, that’s changing. The usual groups aren’t going anywhere, but the update allows Pages to create official groups.
Groups for Pages is simply a way for Pages to create their own Groups. The change means users can easily tell the difference between an official fan club and a group created by another fan. A Page’s biggest fans can join in on a more in-depth discussion by joining that Page’s group, for public profiles that choose to use the feature.
Facebook says that linking a Group to a Page helps users become active participants in the discussions and even decisions made by a business, publication, or public figure. The feature is ideal for “super-fans who want to be a part of the day-to-day discussion of the decisions inside the walls of an organization they care about,” Facebook’s Chief Product Officer Chris Cox wrote.
Before rolling out the feature universally this month, Facebook began testing the feature in the spring. During that test, the Washington Post created a group called PostThis, a platform where reporters discussed their stories — and the process behind them — with the publication’s biggest fans as well as other writers. The group is a sort of digital letters to the editor and Facebook says the group is just one example of how the new feature can help connect users with businesses and public figures.
Now, linked Groups will show up when browsing to an official Page on mobile, or inside the new Groups option in the page’s sidebar when browsing on a desktop computer.
Administrators can either choose to create a new official group, or to link an existing group, since many companies and public figures created discussion groups before Facebook introduced the ability to link the two. The feature is accessible inside a new Groups option from the Pages sidebar when logged in as an administrator.