After almost a year, Facebook has announced that they will be discontinuing their Group Chat option. Initially designed to promote deeper and more personal discussions between members of Facebook groups, clearly the feature was not meeting Facebook’s standards for success.
As of August 22nd, the feature has disappeared as an option. Chats that existed previously will still be able to be viewed, but new messages will not be able to be sent. Facebook said the following about the decision:
“- On Friday August 16th, the option to start a new chat in a Facebook Group will no longer be available.
– On Thursday August 22nd, existing chats in Facebook Groups will still be readable, but you will no longer be able to chat further.
Our team knows that it’s really valuable to communities on Facebook to be able to communicate in real-time the way that Chats in Facebook Groups enabled. The current product infrastructure doesn’t support Chats in Groups directly in the Facebook app, which can no longer support this feature.
That said, we are exploring new ways to support real-time communication for Groups, but don’t have any details to share about those future plans just yet.”
The explanation does not exactly clarify why the feature needed to be removed, but some have speculated it has to do with spam messages and users’ ability to “chat blast” all members of the group unsolicited. Chats were previously able to hold up to 250 members of a group–most of which may not have been connected as friends on the platform, only through the group community. Members of groups could spam these chat threads (and all 249 other people) with their messages which would send notifications to all users’ Facebook and Messenger apps.
This likely caused some frustration for Group members who were not connected as friends with those sending the frequent messages. The alternative option now? Engage in conversations through posts within the group or start a chat with some of your trusted friend connections.
How does this impact your Facebook usage? Let us know below!