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Facebook Groups: Banished to the Archive

A couple of days ago, one of the organizations we work with emailed me to ask about what it meant that Facebook was going to “archive” their Group. Apparently Facebook is doing a major push for old groups to upgrade to the new Groups format that they’ve developed while getting Groups not suited to its new format to switch to Pages. To speed up this process, Facebook is pushing it onto its users. Admins for Groups in the old format are seeing a message that the group is going to be “archived” unless they upgrade:

Archive Message

What does “archived” mean, you ask? Well, when a Group in the old format is archived, it will continue to function but LOSE ALL OF ITS MEMBERS. The only way to escape such a fate for your Group is to Upgrade to the new Groups format. Basically, Facebook is saying either change your Group right now how we want it or, for all intents and purposes, we’re going to make it useless.

Facebook Archived Groups Specifics

Awesome. Love it.

But wait, there’s more. The option to Upgrade your Group? Yeah, that’s only available if Facebook decides that your Group is worthy (see screenshot below). If not? No more soup for YOU. In other words, if your Group isn’t good enough for Facebook you won’t even be able to Upgrade.

Facebook Upgrade FAQ Screenshot

This is just another reminder that Facebook is a company out to make money and is NOT in this business to support you, your privacy or your work. Make sure that your communications processes are independent of any single tool. Don’t make Facebook your communications strategy. Rather, define your higher level goals that Facebook can help you with.

Have you seen the option to Upgrade your Group? Have you not? What are your thoughts on Facebook deciding which Groups are worthy of an upgrade?

9 Comments to Facebook Groups: Banished to the Archive

  1. Anonymous's Gravatar Anonymous
    May 16, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    No more soup for you. BAAAAAA that’s funny. I didn’t realize they were being so picky about it. Thanks for the post.

  2. May 16, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    I am an admin of a closed group that is rarely used (but important to us members when we do). It’s clear from what Facebook is telling us that we’ll be archived — we have not been given the option to upgrade. It’s very difficult to parse the language facebook is using. “Archive” sounds like it’s going somewhere inaccessible. But if you read carefully, it seems they’re going to upgrade the group and eliminate the membership. They don’t indicate some key details like whether it will be public or private, what will happen to the admins’ relationship to the group. We’re hoping that we’ll be able to restore our private status and rebuild our membership. Anyone have a more clear idea of what they will allow “archived” groups to do?

  3. May 18, 2011 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    So I posted a status update on the group that was going to be archived due to lack of use, to warn members of what was likely to happen in the coming weeks. That seems to have been enough activity for the Facebook gods to revise their plans for our group, because when I checked today to see if we had been archived yet I found that we had been granted the option to upgrade. Upgrade completed. Two clicks.

  4. May 18, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Interesting. The question is whether or not the Upgrade option would have eventually turned up if you hadn’t have posted. Hmmm… 

  5. May 18, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    I was originally going to have a picture of the Soup Nazi angrily eating a bowl of Facebook Groups but the picture fell apart in my head… ;P

  6. July 20, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    I have/had three goups, of of which “Inline Street Skaters of Europe” had over 600 plus members with hundreds of personal and youtube videos added in the last two years. It was archived last week (the other two groups also). As the administrator I was not given the option of upgrading, which I would certainly have done. Instead: I logged on and all the worlwide members had disappeared. I was even unable to message everyone who had taken the trouble to join. Facebook just wiped their profiles away. I will not be putting my energy and enthusiasm into creating any other group like this again. – at least not on Facebook.

  7. July 20, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Ugh, Rod, that sucks! So sorry to hear that Facebook trampled all over the work you were doing. The worst part is that even if you knew it was coming Facebook makes it so hard to export anything in terms of group member information. Are you looking to rebuild on a different online platform?

  8. July 20, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    After writing the above, all the members have reappeared in the old group format. Strange. There is no option to upgrade on the group page yet but everything is back as it was. It appears to have been un-archived! And it had been archived for about five days. So, it looks, Matt, that I’ll wait and see. Thanks for the reply.

  9. Dyncoch's Gravatar Dyncoch
    November 12, 2011 at 2:52 am | Permalink

    The main draw of Facebook for me was to make contact with friends from years ago, to share old photographs and reminisce.  I created a group for my old primary school and uploaded many school photos.  Other members also uploaded photos which is now a great place for people to connect with old school friends and share old photos and stories.

    This group is now scheduled to be archived as Facebook deem that the page does not attract enough activity.I think Facebook are shooting themselves in the foot here, but there you go, when you get so big that all that concerns you is the demon dollar then there’s only one way that things can go, down!

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