It’s a feature that many Facebook Group admins have been asking for – for a long time. The feature has now been rolled out globally, for all Group admins to use.
The new feature allows Group admins to set up a questionnaire of up to three questions that prospective members need to answer, before being accepted in a Group. Admins can then prioritise requests by a set of three criteria: work, education, or where they’ve lived. Finally, admins can either choose to accept or decline all requests, or decide individually.
The feature effectively gives admins the ability to manage its members, and screen prospective ones; making sure they will integrate well with the Group’s subject matter or purpose. This new feature will help Groups cut down on spam accounts and trolling, both of which are a real problem on Facebook. Eliminating these problems from the platform is crucial for Facebook, as it needs to make sure it builds “a global community that works for everyone.” Of course it also cuts down the amount of effort admins have to put into membership management. As TechCrunch’s Josh Constine recently quoted a Facebook spokesperson saying,
[quote]“Screening new membership requests requires time and legwork for admins – particularly for groups built around focused passions or purpose. For these groups, admins typically have specific criteria they require before admitting new members. Establishing these open-ended questions enables them to more quickly review and approve member requests; in turn, people seeking communities of support or shared interest can more quickly connect with others.”[/quote]
The following from Facebook Groups analytics company, Grytics, illustrates the feature and how it can be set up.
Any of you worried that adding questions and criteria for potential members to answer will put some off? Well, don’t. You can still do things the old way, but now at least you can separate the wheat from the chaff. Also, if you ever wanted to ask members a question before they joined, you’d only be able to contact them if you became friends on Facebook.
Now, they get to answer up to three questions with a maximum of 250 characters each, and the whole process is managed from one place. Facebook is putting a lot of effort into making Groups better, and should also follow this feature with others like sub-Groups or Group Insights.