Two months ago “at an event at its Palo Alto, Calif. headquarters” Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of new Facebeook Groups. GigaOM wrote:
CEO Mark Zuckerberg called groups “a fundamental building block” and the biggest problem in social networking,” and said after considering the issue for a long time, Facebook has determined the best solution is a social one, where users organically create and participate in groups with each other as a fundamental part of their Facebook experience.
We were told that the process is now as simple as:
1. Create a group, 2. Add friends, 3. Start sharing.
Note that Step #2 (underlined by me).
Almost immediately some started applauding the idea writing:
Facebook recently relaunch Groups. What’s the best part of Facebook Groups?
You can automatically add any of your friends without the hassle of waiting for their decision.
Isn’t that brilliant? Now the decision to add your friends solely belong to you only.
You really think this is “brilliant”?!
Earlier this week I was added to a group by a friend of mine. It was a good group — so I had no issues with the group itself — but I certainly have a problem with the concept, and, apparently, I’m alone in my concerns:
Jason Calacanis of Mahalo, Anil Dash of Expert Labs, Laura Fitton of OneForty.com, and others have had problems with the Groups’ auto-add function practically since day 1 [more here].
Facebook Groups product manager Justin Shaffer said that “it’s one click to leave” the group you were joined into and once you’ve left a group “you can’t be re-added to it without your permission” [source], but why not make the joining of the group permission-based right from the outset? Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places, but I cannot find a way to set this up unless I turn the groups off altogether.
Either Facebook has to change the way this works, or the end users will have to choose their friends more wisely cautiously.