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My interaction with the big blue whale - 10 Things I learned 

Joined Facebook last month to see how it had evolved. 


I joined a few groups around some topic that I enjoyed and had an interest in. The is what I learned. 

  1. Most groups are run as low-key marketing funnels and have ulterior motives other than just conversation, learning and networking 
  2. Most groups have very stringent rules on how people should interact with each other- One went as far as to discourage contacting anyone in the group outside of the group setting 
  3. Group members are not having a conversation - more posting of links, videos and moaning about something, the one positive thing about groups is .....
  4. THE MOST useful thing about FB groups is to ask for referrals locally or remotely 
  5. Groups have an identity or culture that you cannot gauge from the onset and will take a few weeks or months to understand if the group is friendly or aggressive 
  6. Most people are afraid to have open discourse and instead respond based on a group-think approach 
  7. People are not open and honest because the group niche is usually too wide e.g Business owners that live in X place. So having an open conversation is hard cause the audience is too wide 
  8. THE UI SUCKS -- Having one feed is ridiculous, compared to una where you can set up as many different feeds as you would like using channels or just building new pages that follow certain topics 
  9. Groups have a low engagement to member ratio - as a group with 20k members and a few reactions to post and an average of like 20 comments per post 

what's your take on FB groups?

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Replies (9)
    • I've used Facebook Groups a lot, participated actively as well as established and administrated a few. I've mostly enjoyed the experience, a group of humans rallying together around an idea is usually interesting, often entertaining and occasionally horrifying - the way people talk to each other in these groups is often quite toxic.

      The best FB groups IMHO are well regulated, eliminating personal advertising and focussing upon discussion - without close admin over-site most FB Groups will soon turn into a link dumping wasteland.

      Unless of course the Group is established for the purpose of selling things the Buy Swap and Sell sites seem to be well used, and have give Classified sites (Craigslist/Gumtree etc) a run for their money - I wonder how long it is before FB seek to monetise their Classifieds?

      From a professional POV as a web designer I'm generally frustrated by the lack of opportunity to customise the UI and as a web publisher I see it as nothing short of insanity to invest years of my life build a FB Group following which is owned entirely by another publisher. As I have often reflected, only a fool builds a castle on someone else's soil - FB can change the rules of engagement at any point, they own your Group, not you, and can hijack your Group or shut you down at any moment.

      I have  seen FB Groups leveraged well to direct traffic into external sites - building traffic, email lists and brand awareness - managed smartly, a FB group could be a powerful tool for building membership in your UNA site.

      • I completely agree 

        • I completely agree with the above. The user experience blows. 

          The founder of Facebook is a complete rip-off artist who stole the url and idea from a classmate while in college. So why should I align myself with his organization? An organization which only wants to sell my personal data to the highest bidder, over and over again. No thank you.

          • Hello ,

            Mark Purser I am now going to put that theory to the test since I do have a facebook group for my dog site. I just switched to UNA so after a few tweaks on the layout I will advertise on my group and see how it goes.

            • The liars who run Fakebook will do anything to keep you from unsubscribing from their endless notifications. When you click the unsubscribe button on the email notification, you will be sent to a page which does not exist. Beware.

              • Facebook Groups is the most effective bait and switch tactic. No surprise that MZ announced Groups as their priority this year. First, they get enthusiasts to start interesting groups and attract members - it works well initially, because a new group is generally given a boost of viewership - most members actually see the group posts in their feeds. Once the group grows, the FB Smart Feed starts to reduce the number of members that get updates in their feeds - and surely most of them never ever visit the group page itself again, because it doesn't look like anything is happening. Then, they require group or pages admins to "boost" their posts for a fee to be able to reach their group members! This is an outrageous tactic - which clearly means that the Ai behind smart feed is not selecting most relevant posts for a user, rather it selects the ones that ultimately lead to more group admins boosting their posts. 

                Then, there's a risk of losing your group entirely at any moment - all it takes is one member posting something FB admins don't like and it's gone - good luck reinstating it.

                There is no way of "exporting" your group members in any way either - you can't just grab their contacts and reestablish the group on some other platform. 

                Running a FB group is like renting a room in somebody else's house where you have to pay every time you want to call your friends AND you can be kicked out any moment without prior notice. 

                • Then, there's a risk of losing your group entirely at any moment - all it takes is one member posting something FB admins don't like and it's gone - good luck reinstating it.

                  That is a very important point. And it's not just content - it's disputes among group members, too. Regardless of who is right or wrong in a FB group dispute, Facebook will just go with the one who reports a problem first. After that, there is no discussion. Then, the "offending" member will likely be criticized because Facebook "had to remove him." I have heard of this happening more than once.

                  None of us want disputes, but if they occur do you really uninformed Facebook admins to settle things? The answer is a resounding NO.

                  • On the subject of Facebook, today I heard on a reputable podcast that they have recently removed over 2.2 BILLION fake accounts. So apparently there is a huge business in faking accounts and then using them by the thousands or even millions to manipulate a happy outcome to those who will pay for "popularity."