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Meta is introducing a slew of updates to Facebook Groups as part of the Facebook Communities Summit, including new ways to share content, new admin controls, and more.

Groups have been a core part of Facebook for years, bringing users together around a central theme. Meta says that most Facebook users are a part of at least 15 active groups, with over 100 million group joins each day. For brands, Groups have also provided a space to become recognized as an industry authority and to build relationships with potential customers. 

The new updates announced for the Communities Summit are:

  • Reels in Facebook Groups
  • Share Facebook Group events in Instagram Stories
  • Customize Facebook Group Profiles
  • New ways to recognize Facebook Group community members
  • Updates to the Admin Assist tool
  • Ways for Group Admin to allow content normally flagged by Facebook

Reels In Facebook Groups

The social network has been making Reels more prominent over the past few months, so it was only a matter of time before the short videos made their way into Groups.

In the past, users could only post Reels to Groups using a workaround that included publicly posting the Reel and sharing that post to a Group.

Now, Group members can directly post their Reel to a Group without sacrificing the privacy of closed communities.

Share Group Events To Instagram Stories

Public events can now be promoted in Instagram Stories, making it easier to grow communities and attract non-group members to upcoming gatherings. As the announcement reads:

“Whether you’re a group admin hosting a meet-up to celebrate a community milestone, or a Group member sharing your passion with friends, this feature can help you showcase your community more broadly.”

Customize Facebook Group Profiles

To keep Group members up-to-date and build better connections, Meta is adding two new ways to customize your Group profiles.

Firstly, Groups can now customize the information in the About Me section of their profile to highlight important information for the community. 

Additionally, admins and members can now add indicators to their profiles showing whether they’re open to messages from other group members.

Recognize Top Group Members

Facebook Groups are testing a new way to highlight members who are contributing the most to the community. As Meta describes, the new system allows users to earn points through reactions and comments on posts. Users with the most points can then be given badges celebrating their contribution to the group.

Users can also take on a new role within Facebook Groups as a “socializer” or group member who goes out of their way to make others feel welcome, connected, and motivated to participate in the community.

Updates To Admin Assist Tools

The existing tools for admin are being expanded with new moderation options and ways to take action on content posted to the group.

With the new tools, the admin can automatically move or remove posts rated as false by third-party fact-checkers. Along with this, group admin can use the Daily Digest to easily review the latest actions taken in the community. 

Approve Content Flagged By Facebook

Facebook is working with group admins to give group leaders ways to approve non-offensive content which may otherwise be flagged and removed by Facebook’s automated systems. 

In the announcement, Meta gives the example of a group for fish tank enthusiasts. Within these communities, it may be common to call a fish “fatty” in a way that is not intended to be offensive. Previously, Facebook’s tools would flag this content despite the clear context and intent.

The new feature is being granted to eligible groups based on a variety of criteria. For example, the announcement notes that a group may not be eligible if the admin were previously part of a removed group.

For more about these features and all the latest info about Facebook Groups, check out the full announcement here.

Facebook Groups have been a clever way for entrepreneurs and business leaders to establish themselves as an important figure in both their local community and their national industry. Now, Groups are getting the chance to formally tag those authority figures as the experts they are.

In a new update, Facebook Groups administrators gained the ability to tag specific group members as “subject matter experts.”

This title will come with unique labels when posting or participating in streams or audio chats, as well as a few unique abilities to help generate and lead discussions. 

According to the social network, the new tag is designed to help acknowledge those who regularly share helpful knowledge and provide a bit of clout to those voices. 

“There are more than 70 million admins and moderators running active Facebook groups around the world. Many of these groups are home to subject matter experts who love to share their knowledge, from fitness trainers to highly skilled crafters.

“Now, it’s easier than ever to help experts stand out in groups and offer ways for them to engage with their communities.”

What Comes With Being a Facebook Group Expert?

The most obvious perk of being a Facebook Group Subject Matter Expert is the small badge that displays under your name when posting in that group. 

This will make it easier to spot comments that may have important information among even the biggest comment chains.

Along with this badge, Facebook is also working on a few unique ways for group experts to help generate community discussion, including:

  • Ask Questions: When people write a post that looks like a question in their group, the post will automatically be upgraded to a format that encourages others to share advice, information or perspective. 
  • Create Live Audio Rooms in Groups: A low-pressure way for subject matter experts and communities to get ideas and inspiration from each other through audio-first conversations. Live Audio Rooms are coming to Groups this summer.
  • Host Q&As: A way for people to lead real-time question-and-answer sessions with their communities, in a text-based format. Answered questions are featured in an interactive, swipe-able stack, while all questions may be viewed in the Q&A’s comment section.

How To Designate a Facebook Group Expert

There are two ways for group admins to mark someone as an expert.

The first way is by searching the group member list for an individual by name, then selecting “Make group expert” from the member menu.

The other method is by choosing the option within the drop-down menu on posts or comments.

Note that this role must be accepted by the member in question, and admins can revoke the title at any time.

Facebook has announced sweeping changes to its news feed and the way it handles groups or pages that violate the company’s content policies.

The new changes, including a new algorithm signal, are aimed at reducing the reach of sites spreading content with misinformation by judging the authority of the sites the content comes from.

If Facebook believes the site producing content shared on the platform is not reputable, it will decrease its news feed reach and reduce the number of people seeing the content.

How Facebook is Changing its Algorithm

In the past, Facebook has teamed up with highly respected organizations like the Associated Press to validate sites spreading content across the platform.

Now, the company says it is introducing a “click-gap” metric designed to automatically evaluate the inbound and outbound linking patterns of a site to judge if it is authoritative.

Essentially, the click-gap signal measures the inbound and outbound linking patterns to determine if the number of links on Facebook is higher than the link’s popularity across the internet. This will allow the company to distinguish the forced spread of content rather than organic virality.

As Facebook explains in the announcement:

“This new signal, Click-Gap, relies on the web graph, a conceptual “map” of the internet in which domains with a lot of inbound and outbound links are at the center of the graph and domains with fewer inbound and outbound links are at the edges.

Click-Gap looks for domains with a disproportionate number of outbound Facebook clicks compared to their place in the web graph. This can be a sign that the domain is succeeding on News Feed in a way that doesn’t reflect the authority they’ve built outside it and is producing low-quality content.”

Changes to Groups

Notably, this new algorithmic signal isn’t just being applied to news feeds. The company explained it will also be using these algorithms to automatically remove low-quality content posted in groups, including private groups.

The company defended the decision by saying they can now identify and remove harmful groups, whether they are public, closed, or secret.”

“We can now proactively detect many types of violating content posted in groups before anyone reports them and sometimes before few people, if any, even see them.”

Admins are Required to Police Content

Along with these changes, Facebook clarified that its algorithms will consider what posts a group’s admins approve as a way of determining if they are a harmful group or eligible for removal.

The company says it will close down groups if an admin regularly approves content that is false, misleading, or against Facebook’s content guidelines.

This is how Facebook explained the new policy:

“Starting in the coming weeks, when reviewing a group to decide whether or not to take it down, we will look at admin and moderator content violations in that group, including member posts they have approved, as a stronger signal that the group violates our standards.”

What This Means for You

As long as the pages you participate in or run are sharing content from reliable sources, the new policies should have little effect on your day-to-day operations. However, the changes could have considerable impacts on brands or influencers who go against mainstream science or other non-approved sources. These types of industries have flourished on the platform for years, but may soon be facing a reckoning if Facebook’s new content guidelines are as strict as they sound.

Facebook has now announced a big change to the Facebook Groups component of the site: Read Receipts. This is something that allows anyone to see who exactly has looked at the post/update inside of the group, and works on both standard Facebook and the mobile versions.

This is causing a little bit of a stir and is making some people have concerns about privacy, since the “read receipts” are not optional. Some have gone so far as calling it “creepy”. Whether or not this is something that is taken by the community as a positive change we can only see.

To find out more details about this check this Mashable article by Lauren Indvik.