New Facebook Groups Feature: Discussion Topics

(Suzi Nelson) #1

If anyone else here manages a Facebook group, there’s a new feature rolling out called “Discussion Topics”!

This is exciting because one of the main drawbacks of Facebook is that it’s very hard to categorize posts in a meaningful way. Super pumped about this! It’s not available in my own group yet, but here’s a screenshot from another I’m a member of:

To see if you have this feature, click the gray arrow in the top right hand corner of a post and see if you have the option to select from the new “Topics” area. You can create a new topic or choose from any existing topics you already have. It will group them at the top of the group page for easy access.

Super, super cool. Can’t wait til this feature is a part of our groups!!

(Nick Emmett) #2

So this is pretty interesting and likely begins to make Facebook Groups a bit more tangible as a Community/discussion platform. (I know there are some that do already, I’m not a huge fan in context right now, but changes like this I’m sure are helping).

(Suzi Nelson) #3

Facebook has been a generally horrible platform for community management, but features like these give me hope!

(Sarah Hawk) #4

Speaking of Facebook features, I woke up this morning to find a new Facebook Marketplace where I can buy things from people in my neighbourhood!

(Dave Charbonneau) #5

On one hand, WewHeuw! On the other, I cringe to think of investing time, effort, money into building a Facebook group as they make changes so often. If that’s not enough to scare me away, their advertisements are always on and DESIGNED to steer members away from the community or page they are currently on.

Right now I’m touting my upcoming community launch as a “NOT-on-Facebook Community. This means that the people who are there are there intentionally.”

It seems it’s en vogue to start a Facebook community. That’s my queue to do the opposite. :slight_smile:

(Sarah Hawk) #6

I still feel that there are pros and cons. Most people are comfortable with Facebook already (removing technological barriers to posting) and it’s already a habit. Those are two pretty big hurdles that not-on-Facebook communities have to compete with.

(Charlotte Moller van Gils Hansen) #7

This is very interestering, can’t wait to see it in our groups!! thanks for this tip!!

(Dave Charbonneau) #8

True, true. And most are able to ignore the ads (I can’t recall the last time I clicked a side bar ad). However, what happens if Facebook status charging for owners to reach the members of the group? It happened with pages.

As I haven’t launched yet, I still go back and forth on the platform.


(Sarah Hawk) #9

For a business/entrepreneurial/professional community that you plan to monetize by selling services, my personal feeling is that Facebook isn’t the right answer. It is good for testing the waters if you’re unsure of your concept, but if you’ve done careful research around feasibility and you are happy to bootstrap an open-source platform, then I’d go down that road.

(Nick Emmett) #10

I agree with @HAWK on that one totally!

It’s probably also a reasonable bet if you have quite an open topic and potential membership is going to be easier to come by there. I’m a member of 3 communities on Facebook that seem fairly active. One is professional (CMX), one is around an activity I once taught within (Drum Corps) and the other is for Dads (The Dad Network) - I"m not a huge contributor on any of these but still consume because it’s there and is easy to get to.

(Dave Charbonneau) #11

Thanks, @HAWK and @Nick_Emmett for the boost in confidence. I’m actually taking what I was going to sell inside the community and present it as included with the Premium Community option. With this packaging in mind, too, the freestanding community likely will work better.

(Nick Emmett) #12

Glad we helped to figure things out for you in your mind. A great example of why communities such as this are so important for us, even from a sounding out ideas perspective. Note to everyone: never be afraid to ask your question, regardless of what it is!

(Sarah Hawk) #13


(Gear Buzz) #14


Threaded discussion thread and moderation on FB = not good for forum platforms IMHO.

(Nick Emmett) #15

What makes you say that @Gear_Buzz?

(Richard Millington) #16

I suppose the key problem with Facebook in a community context is you’re not the customer.

The advertisers are the customers.

Facebook is a vehicle designed to sell advertisers. Facebook makes decisions based upon selling as many advertisements as possible. They spend billions (literally billions) to buy apps with no revenue to sell even more ads. They will develop VR, Instant Messaging, and Facebook Groups not because it helps brands ‘connect’ with customers, but because it will sell more advertisements.

If they’re adding a feature to groups, it’s sole purpose is to gather more data to sell more advertising. I get the beauty of using it as a community tool (I recommended it heavily in the past).

Personally I’d prefer to pay for a platform and be the customer.

(Gear Buzz) #17

Threaded, searchable conversations that can be moderated are what FB didn’t have that forums have.

It’s hard enough keeping people’s attention off FB

(Sarah Hawk) #18

Ah, so you’re saying that this extra functionality in FB could pose a thread to traditional forum platforms? Got it.

I still think that the cons of Facebook are more around ownership of data (and control) than limitations of the platform though, don’t you?

(Suzi Nelson) #19

^^ So much this. It’s the one of the mains struggles that I have as a community manager, specially now that our members are reaching the 10K mark.

Facebook has worked well for us in other ways - our community is made up of digital marketers, most of whom are on Facebook daily, so it’s a platform that our customers are already on and using frequently. It would take tons of convincing to migrate elsewhere.

(Gear Buzz) #20

Members don’t care.