Meta has announced the rollout of a new way to encourage more engagement stemming from Facebook Groups via a new Community Chat option that will facilitate topic-based discussion groups within Messenger. With engagement in Meta’s apps seemingly in decline, this move is being seen as an effort to capitalize on its wins where it can.
Community Chats, launched today in testing with a limited number of users, will enable people to create a Facebook Group and start chats and audio channels. It will also allow users to invite others to join their new group, all from within Messenger.
According to Meta, the experience seamlessly blends Messenger and Facebook Groups to allow people to connect when, where, and how they want. Admins can start a conversation about a topic and get in-the-moment responses instead of waiting for people to comment on a post.
Also, rather than navigating multiple topics in a single Messenger group chat, the person who creates the Community Chat can organize chats into categories so group members can easily find what’s most interesting.
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained that most people use feeds to discover content and use messaging for deeper connections. He added that Meta is building Community Chats as a new way to connect with people who share your interests.
Instagram chief Adam Mosseri said that Meta is trying to use this as a lever to fundamentally change its approach, migrating users from a feed of content driven by their social graph – i.e., the updates that they have explicitly chosen to see in each app by following and liking people and pages – to one that is more based on popular, trending content in related areas.