Groups becomes Facebook’s latest standalone app – Mobile World Live

Groups becomes Facebook’s latest standalone app

20 NOV 2014

Facebook added another standalone app to its roster to help users manage the groups that they are part of on the social networking site, as well as to find and create new ones.

Facebook Groups, created by Facebook Creative Labs, brings users’ groups together in one place, organised according to which ones are most visited, and makes it easy to move between groups.

Groups are often made by users who want to “stay in touch with family, collaborate on projects, plan trips or offer support to friends”, according to Facebook.

The app also has a ‘discover’ tab with suggestions for groups based on pages that users have liked on Facebook, groups of which their friends are members, and where they live. It will “help people share faster and more easily with all the groups in their life,” Facebook added.

However, unlike Facebook Messenger, which users are forced to download if they want to message their Facebook friends on their smartphone, Facebook Groups will not completely replace access to groups through the core Facebook app.

“You can still use Facebook Groups in the main Facebook app and on desktop, and over time we’ll continue to make those experiences faster and better too,” the company said in a statement.

Following the decision to remove the Messenger functionality from the main Facebook app, the standalone app recently hit a milestone of 500 million monthly users.

Creative Labs was set up to develop more standalone mobile services offered by Facebook. The first app to emerge was Paper, which allows users to “explore and share stories from friends and the world around you” with sections for photos, videos, and longer written posts.

In June the second standalone title was launched — a photo and video messaging app called Slingshot. Users can send pictures or videos to one or more people but recipients of content must respond with a comment, image or video of their own in order to view what has been sent to them.

Last month, it released Rooms, which enables users to join and create virtual locations that represent their interests.

Facebook’s photo-sharing service Instagram has also launched standalone apps, the latest being the time lapse video app Hyperlapse, which was released in August.

The social network giant has said on several occasions that it wants to ramp up efforts around its mobile apps — which now include WhatsApp — to make them into successful standalone businesses.

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Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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