Blog Post

Facebook’s posse of standalone apps now includes Groups

Facebook’s latest unbundled app launched today. It’s called Groups, and it does exactly what it sounds like: Helps you manage your Facebook Groups. Unlike Messenger, you won’t be forced to download Groups. You can still access your networks — whether your sports team, old college network, or hobbyist organization — through the original Facebook app if that’s your preference.

If you’re a power Groups user this app will make your life a little easier. Because it’s a separate app, the design eliminates any extra noise from the Facebook experience and boils it down to the basics: Seeing the latest user dialogue, commenting, creating a group to begin with. It also has a search and discover section to recommend new groups to you based on your interests.

Screenshots of Facebook app Groups (left: create a group, middle: sample group feed, right: Groups home screen)
Screenshots of Facebook app Groups (left: create a group, middle: sample group feed, right: Groups home screen)

Groups comes out of Facebook Creative Labs, which isn’t a particular organization in Facebook as much as a mindset that encourages experimentation. Facebook Paper, Slingshot, and Rooms are also Facebook Creative Labs projects. None of them have taken off yet, although Rooms is still brand new, having only launched a few weeks ago.

It’s notable that this is the first Creative Labs project (and second in Facebook overall if you include Messenger) to split off a Facebook-specific function into a new system. The company is committing to the unbundled strategy that Mark Zuckerberg discussed publicly earlier this year. It’s in the testing phase of its hypothesis, and we’ll be watching closely to see if standalone, single use Facebook products can compete in the noisy app environment.