Facebook Launches App Devoted To Groups

Continuing to break out its services into distinct mobile applications, Facebook on Tuesday launched an app dedicated solely to Groups.

At least for the time being, users can still access Facebook Groups from their main Facebook app.

Using the same rationale for siloing Messenger, earlier this year, Facebook says a stand-alone Groups app will offer a faster, more robust experience for users.

“Facebook Groups … helps people share faster and more easily with all the groups in their life,” Shirley Sun, product manager at Facebook, promised in a blog post published on Tuesday.

Facebook is widely believed to be pursuing a broader strategy to diversify its app offerings in order to create additional revenue streams and increase overall mobile usage rates.

In June, Facebook launched a Snapchat-like app, Slingshot, which allows users to share pictures and video along with text to friends. More recently, Facebook launched Rooms -- a platform for people to connect based on similar interests rather than social ties.

Despite grumbling from users, the strategy appears to be paying off. Indeed, three months after separating its Messenger service, the app has been downloaded more than 500 million times, Facebook said last week.

Earlier this month, CEO Mark Zuckerberg took time out of a “town hall” meeting to address Facebook’s app strategy. “On mobile, each app can really focus on doing one thing well, we think, and the primary focus of the Facebook app, today, is News Feed.”

 “What we saw is that all of the messaging apps that people were using and that they relied on the most, were kind of these dedicated, focused experiences.”

Regarding Facebook’s decision to split off Messenger, Zuckerberg said: “We really believe that [a separate app] is a better experience.”

The new app puts a user’s Groups in one place, with those they use most frequently featured first. The app also lets users track notifications and control which notifications they want to see.

A new Discover tab suggests Groups based on Pages users have previously liked, along with groups their friends are in, as well as where they live.

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