Facebook is emphasizing Groups, and publishers are following suit
Publishers may be pulling away from Facebook in favor of keeping readers on their own sites, but they’re warming to Facebook Groups.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg overhauled Facebook’s mission last year to focus on fostering community, touting Groups in the process. Naturally, publishers are following suit. The New York Times, BuzzFeed and the “Today” show have all launched special-interest groups on the platform in the past few months.
Growing audience is the basic goal, but publishers are finding benefits beyond that. The Washington Post is trying to grow subscriptions, and PostThis, a Facebook group with more than 4,000 members, is an efficient way to promote the accountability journalism that seems to get people to subscribe. Bloomberg News uses Money Talks, a 3,500-plus member group, to promote its personal finance articles and its reporters and highlight content that Bloomberg News wouldn’t normally be associated with, like a 30-day challenge to get people to improve their financial health, said Meena Thiruvengadam, head of audience strategy.
“It’s engagement, it’s community, it’s urging people to build conversation around your stories,” she said.