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Facebook Changes Impact Private Seller Groups

Facebook Changes Impact Private Seller Groups

Facebook announced a change on Wednesday to Groups’ privacy settings in an effort to make them easier to understand.

Many online sellers belong to Facebook Groups to either buy and sell or to hold private discussions with peers about selling strategies. Some Groups are “public,” some “closed,” and some “secret,” and it’s worth a minute to make sure you understand what’s changing and the new terminology.

The company explained, “For Facebook Groups, people have historically been able to choose between being public, closed or secret settings for their group. To better match people’s expectations and help provide more clarity, we’re rolling out a new simplified privacy model for Groups — public and private.”

Facebook explained it is separating privacy settings from the overall discoverability of groups:

  • Public groups allow anyone to see who’s in the group and everything that’s shared there. With private groups, only members can see who else is in the group and what they’ve posted.
  • Group admins will be able to clearly choose whether or not the group can be found in search and other places.

Facebook further explained:

  • By default, a group that was formerly “secret” will now be “private” and “hidden.”
  • A group that was formerly “closed” will now be “private” and “visible.”
  • Groups that are “public” will remain “public” and “visible.”

“Admins can find the new controls in their Group Settings. Just as it is today, there are restrictions to if and when an admin can change the privacy setting of a group. Group members are always notified when an admin updates the group’s privacy setting.”

You can learn more on Facebook’s announcement on fb.com.

In addition, Facebook announced a Safe Communities Initiative started two years ago with the goal of protecting people using Facebook Groups from harm. The team works to anticipate the potential ways people can do harm in groups and develops solutions to minimize and prevent it.

In this announcement, the head of Facebook Groups explains how Facebook is working to make private groups safer by focusing on three key areas: proactive detection, tools for admins, and transparency and control for members.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.