It's always been easy to share with all your friends on Facebook, but until we introduced Groups last October, there wasn't a simple way to share with just a few people. Much of what we share in our daily lives is only meaningful to smaller groups of people, like our family, roommates, or co-workers. With Groups, you can create a private space to share with just those friends.
In the six months since our launch, people have created over 50 million Groups on Facebook. It's grown quickly because of its social design. Instead of making everyone build and manage individual friend lists, one person can create a group for their families and everyone in the family gets to use it.
We've received some great feedback about how people are using Groups and what new features they would like to see. Today, we're happy to announce some new improvements, including integration with Questions, the ability to upload photo albums, and additional membership controls.
How people are using Groups
People are using Groups to communicate with many of the important communities in their lives, like their families, best friends, and teammates. My own family uses a group to stay connected to each other. As a Californian with a brother living in Peru and parents back in Wisconsin, we use our group to update each other about our lives, share vacation photos, and discuss where we're going to meet up next.
I also have a group with my roommates. Because we have such different schedules, we can go a whole week without seeing each other in person. Our group is where we meet to divide up chores, settle our bills, and make plans for the weekend.
New improvements to Groups
You've always been able to post updates to Groups, but now you can post questions and polls for only members to weigh in on. You'll get quick responses to questions like "What movie should we see?" and "When should we should hold our next soccer practice?"
Where before you could only upload individual photos, now you have the option to upload entire albums directly to your group, making it even easier to share your photos with the people who most want to see them.
For group owners, we're also adding a control that lets you approve people before they are added to the group.
For people who were using our older version of Groups, we've created a tool that makes it easy to upgrade to the new Groups format. Owners and members of old Groups will be receiving information about how to upgrade within the coming weeks.
Send button lets you share with Groups
In addition to the other new group features, we're also introducing the Send button.
A year ago, we launched the Like button, which gives you a quick way to share the things you find on the web with all your friends. But there are times when you find something that you only want to share with a few specific people.
Say you're on Orbitz and want to tell your roommates about a great idea for a summer vacation, or you come across a Huffington Post article that you only want to share with people at work. With the new Send button, now you can share things with any of your Groups or individual friends on Facebook.
Starting today, the Send button will be available on over 50 leading websites, and it will appear in more places soon.
Create a Group today
It's been exciting to hear about the many ways people have been using Groups to communicate with the different people in their lives, and we hope you all enjoy the new features, which will be rolling out over the next few days.
Ready to start a new group? Visit www.facebook.com/groups.
Elliot Lynde, an engineer on the Groups team, is currently working on scanning in all his old photos to post in his family group.