Facebook announced an overhaul of its main mobile app today which emphasises on events and groups. As part of the company’s shift to a privacy-focused platform, groups will now be as central to using Facebook as friends. 400 million people worldwide are members of Facebook groups. “We’re focusing on adding more ways to interact privately on Facebook and Instagram groups, stories, and more private ways to interact with businesses,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said.
1. Focus on groups: The new version of Facebook’s mobile app (and coming to desktop soon) ‘FB5’ focuses puts private groups at the centre of the experience with a new groups tab, making it easier to connect to groups, and better suggestions for groups. Facebook says the mobile redesign will start rolling out immediately on iOS and Android devices around the world. To further make groups visible in other activities, Facebook will promote groups in the Marketplace, gaming, and even on Watch.
2. How Facebook will get people to use groups: It’s also building tools tailored to group types, including a new listing format for groups for finding new jobs or buying options built into livestream for groups which involve selling products. A new NewsFeed feature will also allow people to create a post, and share it exclusively for groups, in the same way that users currently post to their profiles.
3. More features for certain kinds of groups: New features will now introduce more privacy for members in certain kinds of groups: For example, health support groups will let admins post anonymously on behalf of members. Gaming groups will get new chat feature to help members communicate privately. Shopping communities will have native support for shipping and buyers can checkout directly from Facebook and make payments.
4. Safety across groups: Zuckerberg said the company was “focused on recommendations that don’t highlight misinformation, and said it’s working hard to “completely remove groups if they exist to primarily violate our policies or do things that are dangerous”.
5. Meet New Friends will help people connect with strangers that have shared interests or real-world connections, like working for the same employer or attending the same school.
6. Events discovery: Facebook will now emphasise on events discovery, with a new events tab next to the new groups tab, with a map view to see where events you’re interested in are located. The new feature will also make it easier to organise calendars, find new events, and see events hosted by friends.