Since Facebook started its FB groups, layers and layers of new functionalities and enjoyment have been added to the original social media giant. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to most users, a lot is going on behind all these groups. And while members enjoy all the fun and the perks of FB groups, it’s the admin that does all the work and takes on the huge responsibility of making sure that the groups are safe, engaging, and continuously growing.
From the beginning, FB group admins take on the role of approving memberships (if they choose to make group membership selective), moderating discussions, and so much more. Fortunately, Facebook has just recently provided new tools for FB Group admins to help ease the burden.
Admin Assist has recently been updated and enabled to automatically decline posts deemed as containing false information. However, selection criteria for screening information from incoming posts are done by third-party fact-checkers. This update is meant to reduce (if not eliminate) misinformation to keep the group and the group members safe.
Now, provided that the third party is easy to configure and accurate in screening, this new feature should save admins plenty of time and make sharing information in the group significantly faster. But on the other hand, it might negatively impact opinion-based posts and make people who share them less visible to the group.
Consider critics for example. Should their posts be automatically declined and considered inappropriate just because other people do not agree? In other words, if used inappropriately, it has the potential to skew information towards a specific direction.
From “mute”, group admins and moderators can now suspend members temporarily to further decrease their influence in the group. With “suspend”, members will now be unable to react, comment, enter rooms, or even participate in group chats on top of not being able to post in the group.
This new feature will be most useful in de-escalating conflicts in the group and cooling off heads. However, it is also quite possible that this can cause a few members to opt-out of the group. Since it essentially disables a user from actively participating, some will probably feel unwelcome, and therefore choose to leave instead.
Another update for admins is the ability to automatically approve or decline member requests. This is especially useful for groups that do not have admins that can be online 24 hours a day. With automatic handling of member requests, admins do not need to spend too much time manually checking requests anymore. Applicants will also have a shorter time waiting for approval. At the same time, approval would then depend on a standard and fair acceptance process.
The only downside is that some people get put off with filling in applications. Some think it’s too bothersome and fail to finish completing the application forms. However, if the application forms are kept simple and easy enough to fill, this should be nothing more than a quick pitstop.
Admin home has also received a bit of a makeover. With the new layout, admins will now easily find stuff that needs their attention; sort and search tasks faster; and observe trends to get a feel of engagement of members in the group. This is especially good in high-volume groups where management and moderation can be too time-consuming and overwhelming.
However, without needing to read through details, it can also be very tempting for admins to just ignore stuff and depend on automatic suggestions. If this happens, admins could lose touch of internal group dynamics and make the members feel left alone.
Another useful update for group admins involves the use of new sharing techniques. Now, to make sharing easier, admins can make use of QR codes or directly send invites by email. This makes it faster and so much more convenient for admins to make their groups more visible to users. Although getting found by searches still helps in increasing members, groups don’t need to rely exclusively on this anymore.
The only downside is that it makes groups look too commercial or aggressive. This can be easily avoided though. Admins should just be more careful and conscious about oversharing their groups.