Last month I started on a new team at Meta—leading product for public groups on Facebook.
I spent my first 2 years immersed in B2B knowledge products like a rich text editor, the wiki, a longform notes app, and a document organizing tool for employees. While I still have a lot of passion for that space, I am excited to switch gears into consumer social. See my tweet thread 6 months into the company for some of my early learnings:
FB Groups has been and probably still the best place online for people to discover and connect to communities around shared identity and interests. Even highbrow media companies that mostly criticize the platform (often for good reasons!) admit that Groups is great.
Unlike private groups, anyone can view the content in a public group without needing an admin to approve you as a member. Posts and comments in public groups make up a majority of all the activity that happen within Facebook Communities and reach 100's of millions of people every month.
Similar to Reddit or Twitter, public groups allow anyone to access the content and joining the conversation is much easier than in private groups. That has of course its pros + cons—a higher rate of engagement but also the greater potential for spam or irrelevant comments that need to be moderated.
If you've been following Facebook at all in the past year, you know there are new changes coming, and you might guess that public groups will have a pivotal role. When you squint, most social platforms primarily emphasize either private messaging (Snap, Discord) or public posting (Twitter, Youtube, TikTok). Facebook probably has the most intricate / hybrid privacy settings of any platform (think "friends of my friends can see this") because it's been a part of so much evolution, which makes this role super interest.
In my first few weeks, I've already presented multiple times to my skip-level leadership and it feels like I'm helping drive decisions that will affect a huge number of people in such a core part of Facebook. I can feel my product and leadership skills leveling up as the org is much more mature and in a period of transition. Will keep you posted as time goes on.
Also, if you're an admin for a public group or are a part of one that you really love, please HMU! Would love to hear about your experiences.
Jason Shen | Cultivating Resilience Newsletter
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