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Facebook announced new Group features yesterday that allows easier sharing of information among small groups of people plus group chat. You may be familiar with the old Facebook Groups and this announcement changes the way Groups work—and raised a lot of questions. Here are our top 9 things you need to know about the new Facebook Groups.
Why am I automatically in a group?
When your friend, relative, colleague, band mate, etc. created the new Facebook group, they had to decide who they wanted in the group with them and they selected you. The new Groups option no longer sends invitations; it automatically adds everyone to the group.
How do I join an existing group?
You have to be approved to join a group (unless you are added by an existing member), so if you find a group you want to join, click on the “Join this Group” link under the group picture. You can join up to 300 groups.
What if I got added to a group I don’t want to be in?
Simply go to the group page. In the upper right hand corner, right under the photos of the members, you’ll see three links. Click on “Leave Group” and you’ll be removed.
Do I have to get an email every time someone posts to the group?
You can decide whether you want to be notified when you are added to a group and each time someone posts to the group.
In order to change your settings, click on Account in the upper left corner and scroll down to Account Settings. Click on the Notifications tab and scroll down to the new Groups section. You can then decide whether you want to be notified every time you are added to a group.
You can also set your notification settings for each individual group by clicking on the “Change email settings for individual groups link.” That will take you to a list of the groups you are a member of – verify your email address and uncheck any that you don’t want to receive notifications for.
What’s so special about new groups vs. the old way?
With the new groups, you can:
- Use Facebook chat with your group in the same chat window
- Share documents in your group
- Post photos and videos to share only with group members
- Reply by email to the group (you select a unique @groups.facebook.com email address when you create the group)
- Any member can add friends to the group
- Only friends can be added to the group, but the admin can approve requests from non-friends who request to join a group.
What’s the same?
- When you form a group, you can still choose whether you want it to be an Open group (where anyone can join), a Closed group (where membership is closed, but the group shows up in search), or a Secret group (where the membership is closed and the group does not show up in any searches). [Note: When you create a new group, the default is Closed.]
- Groups will be deleted if there are no members
What about my old groups?
If you have a group that you created earlier, not to worry. The previous incarnation of groups still exist and nothing changes about them. But remember – if the group is empty, it is automatically deleted. For more information about how Facebook will be handling the old groups, see their help section.
Can I switch my old group to the new group format?
There is no way to switch an old group into the new group design. If your group is small, you can re-create it as a new group.
How do I create a new group?
There’s a how-to plus a link to a new group on the Facebook Groups page. Once you have created or joined groups, they will show up on the left side of your window, above your new friends chat mosaic.
How can I tell which groups are new and which are old?
When you click on the “See all” link on the left side of your screen, you’ll see a list of all the groups you have joined. The groups at the top with icons are new groups. The groups below (with no icons) are old groups.