Thursday, April 28, 2011

New Facebook Group's Updates Released

Several updates for its Groups product, including photo album sharing and Questions publishing, in-Group search, and admin approval for new members, have been released by Facebook.

A new “Send” button social plugin, that allows users to share third-party websites to Groups, specific friends, or email addresses has also been launched by Facebook

These updates enhance trust in the privacy of Groups, provide more content types to be shared, answer the requests of old group admins, and give third-party sites and brands a way to benefit from Facebook’s focus on sharing with relevant subsets of friends.

Groups are launched by Facebook to provide an alternative to sharing with all of one’s friends. Facebook surmises that if given an easy and trustworthy way to restrict the distribution of content that was deem sensitive by users or those that are only relevant to a few people such as planning an event with friends, splitting bills with roommates, sharing ideas with co-workers or discussing intimate family matters, then Facebook users would share more often.

Another update on Facebook's Group is admins of Closed and Secret Groups that can now require all new additional members to be approved by an admin; thus, increasing trust in the product’s privacy. Peter Deng, Project Manager, says that though early adopters have been savvy about learning [the utility of Groups], there is still a need to educate to make this use case more prominent. Now, users who were not part of a Group before will be shown a tour outlining features and controls.

Users can also now publish Facebook Questions to a Group’s feed to help users question the preferences of their Groups. Austin Haugen, Facebook Platform Product Manager, says that “Since we first launched Like button, it’s been a great tool for broadcasting, but it never nailed the use case to share something relevant to certain people.” Now, the new Send button social plugin for third-party websites solves this in a way that’s complementary to the Like button.

Facebook users starting today will see the Send button on over 50 websites, including The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, Orbitz, 1-800 Flowers,, Gilt Groupe, and The button when clicked opens a Facebook post publisher pre-populated with the current view content. Users have the choice of publishing to the feed of one of their Groups, to specific friends through Facebook Messages, or to email addresses.

Search engine optimization experts observed that the Send button creates a big opportunity for professional SEO providers and web publishers of niche content; however, users might not want to share with all their friends or services that benefit from group planning such as travel or gifting.

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