This evening it appears that Facebook has launched the updated layout for groups which ironically is identical to Facebook Pages. While we haven’t yet confirmed whether or not published status updates to the feed will result in stories going to the feed, it appears that Pages and groups are in the process of merging. While not all settings on groups are the same as for Pages, they may soon be heading in that direction.
For the longest time there has been a discussion as to which product was better to use for organizing groups of users. There have been pros and cons of both and at this point there is very little remaining to differentiate one from the other. While Facebook has suggested that Pages are for people to organize around companies and individuals, the two products have been meshing together overtime.
Personally, I’ve spent the majority of my time focused on building our public Facebook Page and gave up on groups a long time ago. Many of my friends still use groups however. With groups and pages now sharing a similar design, it’s difficult to differentiate one from the other. Ultimately I vote for the death of groups, however a large number of users still use them. I’d argue that the separation of groups and Pages only adds to confusion.
As Facebook expands internationally, this minor distinction will be difficult to translate, as it’s difficult to articulate even in Facebook’s native language! We’ve considered writing guides about the differences between the two but in the end, I always recommend organizations use Pages over groups to promote themselves. The one benefit of using groups is that you can message people directly, however Page updates are now more prominently featured in the redesigned inbox.
It will be interesting to see if the two completely merge together. Do you think Facebook should eliminate groups all together? Do you see any reason to keep them?
Thanks to Ronald Reyes for tipping us off.
The new design has been rolled back to the original version apparently. When we were first notified of the change, our groups had also changed to the new design however all of the groups now appear to be back to the old version. The company must be in the process of testing out the updated design. Either way, it looks just like Pages.