'Groups' Feature Could Pay Off for Facebook

Gizmodo: It could pressure those remaining holdouts to join
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2010 6:58 PM CDT
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks during a product announcement at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2010.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
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(Newser) – Mark Zuckerberg thinks Facebook's newly announced "groups" feature is going to do no less than "change the way you use Facebook and the web." (His explanation blog here.) Some early impressions after today's announcement:

  • Brian Barrett, Gizmodo: It "seems promising" as a more efficient way to manage acquaintances. He also notes a potential bonus for the site: "Most of my social circles have at least one Facebook holdout—which is partly what Zuckerberg is banking on. Either a Group forgoes the convenience of Facebook for the uninitiated, or the uninitiated cracks down and joins the network. If Facebook wins even half those battles, that potentially a huge amount of growth."

  • Jared Newman, PC World: "Yes, Facebook already has Groups, but that feature is going away as you know it. In its place will be a more open structure, where anybody can add other users to a group, no approval required. The goal, Facebook hopes, will be to create social clusters that evolve naturally, like they do in real life. So you might have one group that consists largely of hometown friends, another for nuclear family and another for your intramural soccer team." For why it's "both a smart addition" and "a privacy minefield," see the full column.
  • Ryan Tate, Gawker: The "groups feature is fairly basic. In fact, at its essential core it's downright primitive, drawing on one of the most basic of human instincts. And that's exactly why it will be such an effective tool." He thinks it will give users more control over privacy.

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