New Facebook feature: “Channels” and a new “Sidebar” to ensure that Facebook Groups remain prominent and easily accessible

New Facebook feature: “Channels” and a new “Sidebar” to ensure that Facebook Groups remain prominent and easily accessible

Meta has announced, today, the introduction of two new features to make its Facebook group more prominent.

Firstly, the company says it is introducing Channels, which, as explained in the announcement, are focused spaces for people to connect in smaller, more casual settings within their communities.

Channels will let users connect with each other in smaller settings. Facebook Group Admins can create channels to connect with their groups in more casual settings within their communities to have more focused discussions.

There are three types of channels that admins can create: Chat, Audio and Feed.

What are Chat Channels?

Community chat channels can be used as a place for people to message, collaborate and talk about specific topics in a more real-time way across both Facebook Groups and Messenger.

Once you create a chat, you can name it and decide if you want it to be invite-only. When you join a chat, you’ll be able to send messages and receive notifications. If the chat becomes full and you’re inactive, you may have to join again.

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What are Feed Channels?

The new community feed channels are a way for members to connect when it’s convenient for them. Facebook says admins can organize their communities around topics within the group for members to connect around more specific interests. Groups will also display suggested feed channels that you can join.

What are Audio Channels?

Community audio channels will let admins and members jump in and out of audio conversations in real time. Facebook notes that although audio channels start with audio, people can turn their camera on at any time.

“Admins can begin to create channels to connect with their groups in smaller, more casual settings where they can have deeper discussions on common interests or organize their communities around topics in different formats,” said Maria Smith, the Vice President of communities at Facebook.

Secondly, Meta says it is testing a new sidebar that will make all users’ Groups more prominent in its app (and have dedicated shortcuts for creating new channels).

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The sidebar will list your groups and the latest activity, including new posts. You also have the option to pin your favorite groups to the top of the sidebar so they are displayed first. The sidebar also gives users the ability to discover new groups or create their own.

For now, all of these features are tests that will only be available to a small subset of users, but the company intends to roll out the changes more broadly over time.

Meta, through this new update, wants to have your feed recommend more content from accounts you don’t follow, so it makes some sense that the company is using the shift as an opportunity to rethink how Facebook Groups work.

The post New Facebook feature: “Channels” and a new “Sidebar” to ensure that Facebook Groups remain prominent and easily accessible appeared first on Innovation Village | Technology, Product Reviews, Business.

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