The new features and and settings are designed with an intent to simplify how Facebook Groups are organized and introduces new ways for users in the communities to connect with each other.
Few of the features introduced for Facebook Groups such as new ways to access a group, are in the testing phase and may not be widely available to users. The most significant update in the slate of new features is 'Channels', that enables users from a community to connect in a close knit setting.
Facebook is testing a new sidebar that helps users easily find their favorite groups. The sidebar lists all groups the user is a part of, along with the lastest activity within the group, such as new posts, and chats. Users also have the option to pin groups on top for quick access.
Organization of groups is also going through changes, so users can carry on their activity in real-time. Users will now see a menu including options to access events, shops, channels, other topics, and join ongoing conversations.
Group Admins can now also create channels to connect with their groups in smaller, more casual settings, where discussions common interests can be facilitated or organize their communities around topics in different formats.
Here are the different kinds of channels introduced for Facebook Groups.
- Community chat channels: A place for people to message, collaborate and form relationships around topics in a more real-time way across both Facebook Groups and Messenger
- Community audio channels: A feature where admins and members can casually jump in and out of audio conversations in real time, within Facebook Group and on Messenger
- Community feed channels: A way for community members to connect when it’s most convenient for them. Admins can organize their communities around topics within the group for members to connect around more specific interests