This week Facebook announced new features to help group admins better moderate and grow Facebook Groups. Using Facebook Groups to create online small groups for your church is a great way to help people connect throughout the week virtually. You can easily link a group to your page and ask people to join small groups by visiting a tab on your Page.
Facebook already comes with many powerful features to take make connecting online easier, but these new features have the potential to make the experience for both group admins and members more seamless and unique!
A column is a new way to share long form content. Does your Pastor like to write lengthy devotional style posts or do you have someone who frequently writes long posts to share with the group? Sounds like a perfect use case for columns! Facebook says that the new column view is designed to help minimize distractions and put the focus on content.
Long-form writing is a powerful ministry that allows your church to develop evergreen content to help disciple the masses. A sermon has the life of about a week or less, but a quality post or book can last for years! 📝
Facebook also announced that they are testing a new feature that allows people without an existing Facebook account to join a specific group. It's a little unclear as to what that means as of now, but it could mean that people who otherwise don't use Facebook can join your church groups.
This feature has been around for a little bit now, but Facebook Groups allow members to post Prayer requests (if an admin enables it). Great for groups that focus on prayer for each other!
Raise money in your group with a community fundraiser. Again, a perfect feature for small groups. Needing to raise money for your small group? Easily accept donations in Facebook.
Maybe you have a group that has multiple parts of a whole. For example, Children's Ministry should have groups for parents of both elementary and middle school children, but there are certain things that need to be communicated to middle school parents and not elementary parents and vice versa. Simply create a sub group!
New Page Moderation Tools
Throughout this year Facebook plans to bring many of the moderation tools available to groups to pages. They claim that it will be a new "experience that brings the best of Pages and Groups into one place."
What does this mean to me?
Good question! If you're not using Facebook Groups (you probably should be) it doesn't mean anything. But, if you're in the trenches everyday moderating and growing Facebook Groups these new features are a nice breath of fresh air that have the potential to help make your job easier and more seamless.
Facebook isn't everyone's cup of tea. And allegedly their own internal studies show that it's unhealthy. With that in mind you and your leadership team need to weigh the moral and ethical costs of using platforms like Facebook. But, that's a discussion for another post at another time.
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Facebook/Meta. (2021, November 4). New tools to empower community builders in Facebook Groups. Meta. Retrieved November 11, 2021, from https://about.fb.com/news/2021/11/new-tools-in-facebook-groups/.
Facebook/Meta. (n.d.). Introducing new ways for admins to strengthen culture, tools to manage groups, and more features for groups. Facebook Community. Retrieved November 11, 2021, from https://www.facebook.com/community/whats-new/facebook-communities-summit-2021-new-products-features/.