It is introducing a new feature called Community Chat that will enable topic-based discussion groups via Messenger as a means of boosting participation on Facebook Groups.
These examples show how Community Chats, which is being released today in testing with a small number of users, will let people form Facebook Groups, chats, and audio channels, as well as invite other people to join their new groups, all from within Messenger.
People can connect whenever, anywhere, and however they want with this seamless integration of Facebook Groups and Messenger. Instead of waiting for people to comment on a post, administrators can now start a discussion about a subject and receive immediate responses. Additionally, the person who develops the Community Chat can classify discussions into categories so that participants can quickly identify the topics that interest them, rather than browsing through a variety of topics in a single Messenger group chat.
As a result, Facebook Groups are now available in Messenger, which may promote more instant contact and conversation about your main areas of interest.
But unless people truly desire that. People appear to prefer to keep these two things apart in most cases; while you check Facebook groups for the most recent information, your message groups are for your close friends and family. I’m not sure if a direct connection functionality is necessary in this case, however some group members probably already branch off into Messenger and WhatsApp chats.
However, Meta is confident that it can increase engagement by capitalizing on the growing tendency for people to share more in private conversations.
According to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta:
“The majority of individuals utilize feeds to find material and messaging to establish closer connections. We’re developing Community Chats as a brand-new platform for meeting others with similar interests.”
Meta is attempting to use this as a lever to fundamentally alter its strategy, moving users away from a feed of content driven by their social graph – that is, the updates they explicitly chose to see in each app by following and Liking people and Pages – and toward one that is more based on popular, trending content in related niches.
In order to maximize user time spent, Meta is attempting to imitate TikTok’s entertainment-focused content strategy, which allows it to highlight the most popular trending content from across the app, not just from your connections. This is why your Facebook and Instagram feeds are now flooded with content from Pages that you’ve never heard of.
Early feedback indicates that this is not working, as users feel less attached to these more strange material flows. Meta seems to believe that if it can get it right, it can also get people to spend more time in its apps.
Because Facebook and Instagram have designed their applications around user input and displaying content shared by friends and family, they are not like that. Although Meta claims that fewer posts are being made to the main feed, it is important to remember that Meta already uses an algorithm to sort your feeds because there is too much information to display to you based on your chosen following.
Meta is attempting to sell “Community Chats” as a significant improvement in engagement.
Admins can launch a chat for group members to discuss a particular topic, an event chat for an outing or gathering, a view-only broadcast chat for admins to share group-wide updates, and a chat for admins and moderators alone to work together. In order for group members to share live comments or obtain immediate assistance, admins can also build audio channels.
Without a direct button, you could easily accomplish all of this in a number of ways, so it doesn’t really provide anything other than a tool for Meta to increase engagement.