Groups differ from regular Facebook pages as they can be centred on a particular theme, such as a favourite sports team or videogame, and will generally be focused solely on updates relating to that theme.
They allow for easy connection of people who share a particular interest and, in many cases, allow people to make contact with other users of Facebook that they may never have become involved with, based purely on their mutual interest.
Users are able to both join and create groups and, once part of a group, they can share statuses, photos and other items in a similar manner to the way they would on their Facebook wall.
Joining a Group
Head to the Facebook home page and examine the menu on the left hand side of the page. You should see the section marked Groups. This highlights any groups that you are currently a member of and also includes the option to ‘Find New Groups’.
Select this option and you will encounter lists of various groups that may capture your interest. The groups are divided into the following categories:
- Suggested groups based off your pre-existing interests
- Friends’ groups that displays groups those on your friends list are a part of
- Local groups that are dedicated to causes in your area
- New groups highlighting recently created groups
- Your groups, which is a list of all groups you currently belong to
From here simply use the navigation tools provided and find a group that you would like to become a member of. Click the ‘+ Join Group’ button of that particular group to start receiving updates relating to the group and to be granted the right to post your own information to that group.
Also note that some groups have privacy settings that prevent you from joining unless you are invited by a group admin or member. These will not be findable in the group lists that Facebook presents to you.
Creating a group
Facebook allows any user to create groups for almost any cause. Head back to the home page and find the Groups section on the navigation bar again. Select ‘Create Group’ to get started.
A popup will appear asking for the following details:
- The group name
- A members section that you can use to invite people from your friends list to the group
- Privacy settings that include the following options:
- Public – This makes the group available to anybody on Facebook who wishes to join
- Closed – This makes the group available to view, but only members will be able to see posts and contribute to the page
- Secret –This is essentially an invite-only group. Only members will know of its existence and be able to see it
Once the group is created you, as the admin, will be able to work with it in a similar way to your own Facebook wall. From your group admin screen you can set cover photos, create posts, upload content and invite new members to the group. You will also have some measure of control over the content that is posted to the group.