Overnight, Meta announced the introduction of a number of features, pitched as a way for you to access your Facebook Groups easier.
A new sidebar, Meta said, is to help you easily and quickly find your groups. It will list your groups and the latest activity within them, such as new posts or chats you haven’t yet seen. You can also pin groups, so they show up first.
The sidebar will also offer a way to search for new groups or create your own.
Part of this announcement is the introduction channels, which are focused spaces for people to connect in smaller, more casual settings within their communities.
One feature is what Meta is calling ‘community audio channels’. It’s a feature where admins and members can casually jump in and out of audio conversations in real time.
It’s very Discordy.
Meta seems to be deepening its investment into new audio experiences, for some reason. Facebook back in October begun its roll out of a designated “Audio” tab within its mobile app where users (in the U.S.) can access podcasts, Live Audio Rooms and short-form sound bites.
But unlike those features, the community audio channels would allow users to speak with each other constantly, popping in and out until their heart’s content.
In the sidebar, you’ll also find ‘community chat channels’. Meta bills this as a place for people to “message, collaborate and form deeper relationships around topics in a more real-time way” across both Facebook Groups and Messenger.
And lastly, ‘community feed channels’. Community feed channels lets Group admins organise their communities around topics within the group.