Facebook and I have a love/hate relationship. On one hand, I love the ability to interact with folks, digitally, from all over the world. I’m able to see what’s going on with friends and family, and in general it helps me stay connected. Yet, on the other hand… I hate the general newsfeed. It’s often filled with people sharing things I don’t want to engage with (such and political memes) or controversial topics that just serve to heighten my blood pressure.
One area of Facebook that I actually like a lot is Groups. Facebook groups are small communities of people who post about a shared love of a given topic. Many of the communities I’m a part of have Facebook groups, and it’s a great way to talk about items of shared interest. It’s also a wonderful way to coordinate real world events. Many of my running friends are a part of different Facebook Groups, and without them, I would never know what’s going on with running meet-ups, or other adventures. The problem is, you can’t get a nice simple interface to just your Groups posts.
A while ago, Facebook had an app dedicated to Groups. It was an decent app lacking in a bit of functionality, but I loved it since it allowed me to see what people were posting in these communities, without needing to wade through a Newsfeed. I felt like it helped me engage better with the things I wanted to use Facebook for, without having to deal with divisive arguments that permeate the Newsfeed. Facebook decided to can the app, deciding to focus more energy on the main Facebook app. Needless to say I was disappointed.
Thankfully, Facebook has recently brought back a part of that interface to the main Facebook app. There is now a button on the bottom of the main app that brings you to a Groups interface. You can scroll through a feed of all the most recent posts to your various communities, and drill down into a single community with just a click. It’s a lot closer to what I want my Facebook experience to be.
I really wish that Facebook would continue to expand the ability to work with Groups. Google+ actually did a great job with this years and years ago, but with that platform’s transition to obsolesce, there’s a real opportunity for Facebook to lead. For now, I need to suffer through the pain of the Newsfeed, but I’m hopeful that this won’t always be the case.