Facebook Groups – a complete Guide

About a month ago I started getting really annoyed by the new Facebook Groups function as I was being added to virtually all kinds of e-mail lists, thus getting my inbox completely crammed with different messages from “friends” and other people who had decided I should join.

I truly hated this new feature that Facebook described as a completely new Groups product. I must say, I was completely wrong. If you set your privacy settings the correct way you can actually manage your groups really neatly and they work a lot greater than Google groups and other such e-mail lists I have found.

So what are Facebook Groups?

Facebook Groups is a new product from Facebook where they allow you to bundle friends into packs. You get to form your own communications networks and you are able to collaborate and communicate more effectively as a result. It is like a normal e-mail send list but with more social functionality. Sort of like the way a Skype group works, but with e-mail as well.

So what kind of Facebook Groups are there?

Well, there are virtually three types of Facebook Groups. Closed (default setting), meaning only the people invited by the group members can join. Secret, meaning no one but the people in the group can see it and finally Open, in which case anyone feeling like it can join the group and start posting.

You can change the setting of a group from either one of the three so if you start out as a secret group you can quite easily move it to become an open or a closed one. This is a great new feature which did not exist in the previous Groups package.

How do I create a Facebook Group?

You start out by going to the Facebook group landing (http://facebook.com/groups) page or navigate from your left hand navigation bar of your Facebook home page after login. In the image below you can see the yellow icon and the “Create Group” text next to it.

You click the “Create group” option and a pop up display is shown to you. You select a name for the group and add the participants to it. You also select whether or not the group should be Open, Closed or Secret.

1. Choose a name

2. Invite some friends

3. Set your privacy level

Your group is now created and you will be able to access it from the left hand navigation of your Facebook home page after login.

What can I do in a Facebook Group?

You can do virtually anything you could do in the previous version of the Facebook Groups, but now you have your e-mail connected to it in a much neater way and you also have the Facebook Group Chat connected to the members which means you can chat with everyone available in the group at once. Much like a Skype group chat.

You navigate your actions and activities from the top of the group and you join or setup a group chat from the right hand side of the group page.

The only problem I find with the last feature is that the chat window is really too small and if you are a couple of people able to type considerably fast, it creates a problem to keep up. I wish one could adjust the chat window height better than is possible today.

How do I edit my Facebook Group settings?

In the very top right corner of your group you have two options. Edit Group or Edit Settings. By clicking either one of these options you can edit the general settings of your Facebook Group as well as edit group members and name. The main difference between the two is that Edit Group is general to the whole group whilst Edit Settings are personal and for you only.

1. Edit Group

2. Edit settings

Are there any risks with using Facebook Groups?

Yes and no. You should always stay cautious towards new things on Facebook. Usually they have some kind of security bug at first. But with the help of great developers and a load of users, it usually sorts itself out after a while. Please read up on what some other bloggers have said about the risks.

What are the benefits of using Facebook Groups?

Well the benefits are many if you can handle the privacy settings correctly. If you’re working with link building you can create co-ordination groups to easily handle link trade, if you’re working with news and gossip you can easily reach out with your PR messages fast and furious, and if you’re just having fun you can have more fun in a group than by yourself. (yes I too used to think that it was the opposite.. but please… try sharing the fun and I promise you’ll wont be disappointed).

No seriously. For a business you might not want your employees chatting about what they do at the company through Facebook more than what is allocated to your Facebook Page. However, if you have a big organization that needs to share online content with each other than a FB group might do the trick.

Let’s say you’re in a position where you are launching a new product that you want the local teams to promote for you. Well then use a group. It is a much better place for a resource than the e-mail inbox. As long as it’s not confidential, go ahead and share it and let other users discover it whilst you solve a co-ordination problem.

For the gaming industry I find it highly useful as well. If you play any game where you need to keep track of old scores or of scenarios or tactics, a group is the place to store it.

What can I say… it is a GROUP… haha… nothing more nothing less. However, the chat functionality as well as the e-mail lists really bring these groups to another level.

Any question I haven’t answered I’ll gladly answer it in the comments.

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94 thoughts on “Facebook Groups – a complete Guide”

    • Hey,

      I am unsure. Read somewhere that they will not convert naturally, but I suppose that they will find a solution to this. I’ll get back later if I find an answer to the question.

      Reply
  1. I want to change the settings for the entire group. Everytime someone comments everyone in the group gets an email. Do they have to change their own settings or can I do it for all of them?

    Reply
    • They will have to do their own settings for the group. That should be changed 🙂 there really should be a way to make those changes as an admin.

      Reply
  2. Hi! You wrote in a blog that it is possible to add “Like” buttons in a Static fbml-box and that there would be more info here. I can´t find it. Have this function been removed? Kind regards. Erik

    Reply
    • How do you mean? Could you post the link to what I wrote and I’ll be able to direct you in to the right place. Otherwise you can browse my Facebook articles from the category section.

      Reply
  3. Hi, i created a new FB group a few weeks ago and got my friends to join in. However i’ve not been able to find a seemingly simple alternative to a group mail. How do i send a mail to all the members of the group? In the current form, a mail would be sent as a notification only if someone posts on the wall. But if i have a poll running in the group and want to bring everyone’s attention to it, do i have to post once again? Isn’t it simple for me to send a reminder to them in the inbox?

    Further, the group email address (xxx@groups.facebook.com) doesn’t seem to be working. No mail sent to that address seemed to reach the members. The older version was plain and simple. The new ones are getting tough to understand. Any thoughts?

    Reply
    • Haven’t encountered that problem with the group mail function. I suspect there might be some misspelling involved.

      About the messaging, Facebook’s intention with the messaging system is to have it as public as possible. My suggestion is that you create the poll and then post the link to the poll as a message on the group wall. That way you can run reminders to the same poll yet still use the same kind of verification for reminders so that the same user doesn’t fill in the poll twice.

      Reply
      • Having a bit of a problem. Group is set up, email address is set up, but why am I not receiving anything. How do I get the group emails?

        Reply
        • try this: on the left side, next to the notifications, click on messages. From there click Send a new message and den type in the group’s email in the To: box….den send.. it shall get posted on the group’s wall

          Reply
  4. okae this is the thing

    there is a problem in the addition of a previous member

    he had left the group earler now he wanna rejoin ……
    but i cant add him…

    Reply
    • @cosmin: Under “Edit Group,” check the box next to “Membership Approval: Only admins can approve requests to join.”

      @ashish singh: I ran into that problem too. Someone left the group voluntarily and wanted to come back. I wasn’t able to add them, so I had them request membership, then approved it. Because my group is Secret, I had to change the group to Closed long enough to do the add, then I switched it back.

      My pet peeve about the groups is admin tools. I can modify the group, add someone, kick someone off, ban someone for life or delete a post, but that’s it. It’s difficult to moderate a larger group with only those tools. Today I needed to clear the content in the group chat, but near as I can tell, I have NO admin tools in the group chat. I can’t even delete my own posts. Grrrr.

      Reply
  5. The new version of FB group is very very poor indeed, we lost all the advantages of the old version. I hate the new group version. With the new version I am never sure that the group members receive or not my posts on the group wall, and there is no way to verify that. With the old version one had the clear cut manner of sending one message to all group members in a glance and be sure that the message has arrived to everybody. Now, we are lost. The genuine who programmed this misleading new version must be fired from Face Book.. I hate him very much. He complicated our life.

    Reply
  6. ..and how do you delete a group that you are the admin for? Cannot find this info in the help section of Facebook. Or maybe I am blind… 🙂

    Reply
    • @ Nathalie I was able to delete a group by first going to “members”. Then I removed the members one by one until I was the only one left, being the admin. Then I clicked “leave the group”. A prompt appeared saying, “Since you are the only member left in the group, leaving the group would automatically delete the group.” And that’s how I was able to do it. ‘Hope that helps.Ü

      Reply
  7. As the creator and admin of a group, why can I no longer make changes to the privacy settings changing the group from Secret, to Closed, to Open? I also cannot make changes to the name of the group either. Are there a limited number of changes you can make or can another admin remove those rights from another admin?

    Reply
  8. I created a secret group… When using the chat I notice that non-members can get access to it. How can I prevent this to happen in the future and keep members privacy? thanks.

    Reply
  9. you offered to answer a question so…. there are about 30-40 of us that enjoyed posting music and trivia about said music about once a week. We realized we were dumping a lot of posts on our other friends walls, so I created a group where we could keep all our posts internal. The problem is the shifting of posts,ie, someone posts a video, I notice it a few minutes later and make a comment on it, but while I am writing the comment, someone else comments on the same or another post, and the window I am writing in completely disappears and I have to scroll down to find it. It happens to all of us and it’s annoying, everything shifting– Did I explain that sufficiently ? Make Sense? Any solution?

    Reply
  10. Totally worthless and a waste of time…I don’t want to create a group , I want to be able to find existing groups…this seems to be totally impossible to do…hidden top secret on facebook and no way to contact facebook except for worthless help section.

    Reply
  11. We have recently created a group for our big family. My problem with the new version now is that there were useful tabs in the old version that seemed to be no longer present in the new. These are the Wall, Info, Photos, Discussions etc which used to appear just below the group name. I wonder if there’s a way I can have these tabs back in the new version. With the old version, photos uploaded by the members can’t be collected in an album or be viewed using one command which the Photos Tab used to do. The new version also appeared to give admins/creator very limited functions to edit or make changes in the group.

    Reply
  12. i’m having similar issues. i can’t change my “open” group to “closed” and no one can see who the admins are. hate the new Groups format. no discussion tabs or info section either. what the frick?

    i hope someone responds to the last several questions.

    Reply
  13. On the new FB Group page I can’t removed the lines of people I’ve added to the group – meaning – Mary Jo was added to the group by Katie. These lines take up so much space in the new format – can you help in answering how I can remove those lines – there is no ‘x’ that I’m able to highlight like when removing an entire posted question.

    All the best – and thank you.

    Reply
    • Those posts can only be deleted by the person who has added the other person. Ie. if they remove them from their wall or from the group, then they are completely removed as a public/visible story. There is not much for a group owner to do in this case. Facebook give voice to the transparency debate and I suspect that they would not want to change this feature as it is one of the strongest growth potentials for your group.

      Reply
  14. Hi,

    I’ve a group of 500+ members…
    I want to change my group name……but, I don’t have edit option to change my group name…..
    I don’t wanna change the whole name….but just replacin the small characters with CAPS…
    How do I do that…?
    Pleaz reply….Should I email to facebook requestin the change…? If so, to whom…?

    Reply
  15. I think Facebook could help the Group community immensely by adding the same functionality to albums (sorting-editing) as we have for Pages and Profiles.

    Pictures as famously quoted, say a thousand words and in the right order or structure say a billion words or more importantly can tell an important story.

    Very powerful this feature/functionality would be in Group Albums as well.

    Reply
  16. im an admin of a group, but when i post something, my real name shown on the post, i want my group’s name in the post, how can i do that, plz help me, thnx in advance,

    Reply
    • Then you should use a Facebook Page instead as groups consist of users whilst pages consist of users and page admins.

      Reply
  17. Hi,

    A member I want to delete from a Facebook Group is not showing up on the members list (hidden from both the users and admins). And he keeps taunting and abusing the group asking us Admins to remove him, which we can’t because he is not showing up on the member list. And it seems like he is adding more vicious members to the group now and they are abusing members. The admins have reported to FB and when we block them we are not able to see their posts but the remaining group members can, and it’s even tougher then! What is happening?

    We have a discussion board where we can moderate without difficulties. And also have restricted the wall posting only to admins. There are about 42,000 group members and most of the are unhappy with these restrictions. Thanks to a few people who are racially abusing other members we have to curb the independence of other members.

    I hope you can provide a solution to remove these rogue group members from our group.

    Hoping for a miracle, thank you.

    Reply
  18. Hi, I am a member of a secret group, I dont know what I have done with the new FB settings, but now I can respond to posts in the group and i see all the posts others make, but non of my own posts are showing 🙁 how the heck can I get back to my regular settings now?

    Reply
  19. Is it possible to limit the privileges admins have?

    I started a group a week ago and it already has 2000+ members, obviously i can’t manage it alone, but when i added other admins they keep changing stuff and adding more admins I don’t want or removing admins i want 🙁

    How can i fix that, without being the only admin?

    Thanks

    Reply
  20. I created a secret group… When using the chat I notice that non-members can get access to it. How can I prevent this to happen in the future and keep members privacy? thanks

    Please answer this question……….

    Reply
  21. hi,
    i created a group for my college alumni.i want to change its group mail id.is there any way to change or edit my present group email id?

    Reply
  22. Hej

    Jeg har et spørgsmål, som jeg virkelig håber, at der er nogen der kender til problemet. Jeg er medlem af en gruppe, hvor jeg ikke kan dele noget med gruppen. Jeg kan selvfølgelig godt kommentar gruppens indlæg, men jeg kan ikke oprette selv et indlæg.

    Hvis jeg skriver noget og deler det ud med de andre. Jeg kan godt se indlægget på min side, men hvis jeg åbner siden i en anden hjemmeside, så kan jeg se, at mit indlæg er ikke kommet frem til medlemmer. Det er virkelig trals. Håber virkelig at der er nogen der kan hjælpe mig.

    Jeg synes jeg har prøvet alt.

    På forhånd tak

    Reply
  23. So I have a question I hope you can answer… I am an admin in a secret group… if myself or someone else posts on the wall in the group, does it show up in the ticker for everyone to see (meaning those not in the group)???

    Reply
  24. I started a group and one of the members i want to unfriend on my personal Facebook but leave in the group. Is this possible? Since i started this group i made one other member an admin

    Reply
  25. hi all.

    I want to know, is there any other way for members add their new member to facebook group without admin approval?. I have an issue lately for my group which I am the admin, and already setting “Only admins can approve requests to join.” then this morning I saw one of my group member add his member to our group without my permission. how this things happen & how to avoid it next time? please help me..

    regards,

    – mukti –

    Reply
  26. I am having problems that are allowing members to join other people to the group when only the administrators have this authority. Our settings are set correctly. This has happened twice now, the most recent was today. What is going on with Facebook? It would be nice to get an answer to our questions. Thank you.

    Reply
  27. My facebook group of 30000 odd members has been hacked and all admins removed and banned from group..now there are no admins at all.. i have managed to enter back in the group with a different id but how will i be able to regain the admin post and someone tells me that the person who has added the most members will be made admin by facebook, is this true and how will i know etc..my group was hacked yesterday and today there are no admins there,,, first fake ids of some of the admins were made and slowly one by one all hav disappeared..pls help..do i need to take any further action or facebook contact me and how..

    Reply
  28. I want to ask how to delete a message I posted in a group chat. I thought it was a private message but unfortunately, it was not.

    I tried to find the delete post button but could not find it. I also left the group hoping to delete it but no avail. Finally i deleted the whole message of the one who created the group chat, but now i don’t know if my post was taken out or if it is still there.

    Thanks a lot!

    Reply
  29. hie sir…i wanted to know is it possible for a secret group to subscribe to other groups and pages??
    like for eg i want to subscibe for the updates of IMDB or RIHANNA OR any other group for that matter in a group that i have created…
    the way we can “like” a page or group from our profile..is the same possible with groups?
    thanks..

    Reply
  30. How can I change the icon of my group? It used to be a photo but about a week ago it changed to a generic group icon. No option pops up when I hover the mouse over the icon. Thanks!

    Reply
  31. Hi.
    I am applying for membership in a group but even when another member is confirming my apply, I still not become a member. Sometimes I can write comments in the group and sometimes not. The groups founder and admins see me as a member of the group but the “Apply for membership” button is still lit.

    what can I do?

    Reply
  32. Hi,
    Actually i created a Facebook group and can we off the Chat group?! i want to off that one if it is having Solution please Help me
    Thanks

    Reply
  33. Hi. I have a group that I i initially chose to be closed. I want to change it now to open but I can’t. The settings are showing me it’s closed but there is no arrow or options to click to change it to open, the other options simply disappeared. How can I change it to an open group?
    Thank you

    Reply
  34. After changing my FB group name as an April fools joke it wont let me change it back and FB says you can contact them but they only read them and do not reply, Any Ideas ???

    Reply

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