While there was truckload of new features announced at the Facebook F8 developer conference, one of the things that hasn’t had a great deal of coverage, might be very interesting for marketers.

Groups have existed on Facebook for a good length of time and while the option hasn’t exactly been front and centre, the growth of Groups is set to outpace the main Facebook experience itself, with 1.4 billion users currently. Never one to shy away from success, Facebook want to accelerate this growth further by thrusting Groups into the spotlight. Over the coming weeks, you’ll see a Groups Tab in your lower navigation bar:

And to help give Groups a greater presence outside of Facebook, there’ll also be a button plugin that developers can add to websites to ensure content creators are able capture that connection:

Given that these features are newly announced, we can at best only speculate on what they’ll mean to marketers, especially in a post- Cambridge Analytica/GDPR world. Based on previous behaviour, the growth of Groups and these new features would allow Facebook to provide greater insight on audience interests. This would be highly valuable data for gaining an understanding of an audience. Perhaps the Join Group Button will have a double opt-in process meaning that Facebook is still able to do this and remain compliant with incoming EU regulation.

It’s clear that Facebook can only maintain it’s existing business model if it is able to continue to provide advertisers with exception data. While Facebook has always been about bringing communities together this may be a great way to ensure the interests shared are not going to result in Mark being back in front of lawmakers.

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