No more than 18 months ago, I started the HyveUp Facebook group to provide a way for the members of my community to stay in touch with me and my content. I think the last time I updated the group was about a year ago. In other words, managing a group was not a very compelling and beneficial operation.
Yesterday, I received an email from Paul Chaney, announcing that he was closing the 300-member group Conversational Media Marketing:
Earlier in Facebook’s evolution as a business communication and marketing platform, one popular option was to create a Group […] With the advent of Facebook Pages, particularly in their current iteration (and considering Facebook’s obvious move to create promotional tools around them), the heyday of Groups has passed.
Of course, Facebook designed pages to be much more viral than groups. Groups can’t take RSS feeds, and the content doesn’t spread onto members’ profiles. There are no stats on page views or video views. There are no widget to promote the group outside of Facebook’s walls. One basic but useful feature is the one that lets administrators send messages to the members of the group. It’s the only communication tool that comes with a group.
The question remains: If the group still has members, why delete it? Having your link hanging right and left is the best way to benefit from the long tail of the Web. If you have spent a consequential amount of effort creating the group, shouldn’t you just leave it here? Unlike your own site, a group is Facebook’s problem, and Facebook’s responsibility to maintain! In any case, it is official, Facebook groups are dead, and we should expect an announcement from the company’s blog pretty soon warning that all groups will be closed down. Hopefully, they will provide a tool to convert a group into a fan’s page or something.