Of course it’s great chatting with your friends about the party last weekend, but it’s all fun and games until somebody gets their feelings hurt, right? Facebook has done a great job with keeping people in touch with each other, and their “Groups” application, they are offering some privacy for those conversations that simply aren’t for everyone’s eyes. This has been a process for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his development team, as they have attempted similar concepts before. First, they offered the ability to put your friends onto lists that would create a barrier between those that should be reading some of your content and those who shouldn’t. Users found the process to be taxing and never used it, so they explored the options further. Coming up with the Groups feature seemed to make the most sense. The process is much easier as well, which will assuredly facilitate much more use on the website.
How It Works
When you are at your Facebook homepage, you’ll notice the “Create a Group” option in the upper-right hand corner. Once you have clicked the link, you will notice that there are 3 different options for your group. You can select from Open, Closed, or Secret groupings. Open groups are those in which the content and members are for public viewing. Closed groups keep all of your conversations and content under wraps but allow the members to remain public. Secret groups hide both the content and the members.
There may be times when you learn that you’ve been added to a group without knowing about it. However, you aren’t stuck as you can leave a group by simply clicking the aptly named “Leave Group” button.
The Grouping feature is something that Facebook feels was needed to create a genuine social networking experience. The design is such that people should interact digitally just as they would if they were face to face, and the ability to limit certain conversations to select groups of people should facilitate this.
A chatting feature is also available that will open a chat room for all members of the group that are online. Another interesting tool, a document sharing feature, allows a groups’ users to work on documents collectively. It’s assumed that this feature will be popular for study groups, group projects, or general writing needs.
Grouping your friends on Facebook makes sense. Users have long asked for the ability to have some semblance of “sub-pages” within their friend lists that allow them to separate acquaintances, close friends, and family. It’s likely that you’ll also see work groups created that will prevent co-workers from seeing too much of your personal life, but still allowing for general conversation and work talk when necessary.
Facebook continues to improve its product which should ensure their reign as the most popular social networking website in the world. With over 600 million users, there’s no doubt that the need for filtering friends was paramount. The users asked, and Facebook listened.