It used to be people took to Facebook to let the world know what they were doing. Some, who are a bit more private, changed their settings to let only their friends know what’s going on in their lives. But now, more and more groups are turning to a part of Facebook that’s been around for seven years. Facebook Private Groups.
These groups range from discussions about crypto currency to women in the workplace and are all about bringing people closer together and getting more out in the open while keeping the information away from the prying eyes of the search engines. In many ways, what Facebook is doing harkens back to a bygone era that preceded the Internet.
That era of online communications existed back in the 80s and early 90s on services like The Source, Compuserve, Prodigy, The Well, Parti and others which had very active, and very well managed groups of people from all walks of life. In those days, search consisted of index like lists and directories that were largely topics and words. You had to hunt around to “discover” groups. And, much like Facebook Private Groups of today, an administrator had to approve your access, and even sometimes your posts and comments to the group.
For Facebook to do this, the company itself is looking to get greater levels of involvement from the people who are already using the platform to communicate to friends, family and the public, into more structured, publicly beneficial activities. Unlike the “Speakers’ Corner” of olden times that offered a public place to speak and air their views in public, Facebook is looking to provide people a protected and private communications environment for like minded individuals to share their views, offer advice and provide insight, perspective, and opinion on any number of topics.
By relaunching Private Groups, Facebook is taking a page out of history of what led to the Internet’s spawning in many ways, bringing back a period of somewhat private group thinking, while giving the people a platform that is already very easily usable. Facebook’s own.