It was on October 01, 2020 that Facebook held its Communities Summit and announced a ton of new features for Facebook groups. 🎉
Well, the social media giant couldn’t emphasise more on public groups and told how it would give more visibility and enable monetisation for them, going forward.⚡
Out of curiosity, I did a poll in our community of power admins, Growth and Monetisation for Facebook Group Admins, to understand the type of Facebook group(s) they own.
And, here’s what I understood:
- Around 70% of the admins own a private Facebook group
- Around 20% of the admins own a public Facebook group
- Around 10% of the admins own both public and private Facebook groups
Also, the fact that this poll is quite an evidence to the long going debate on whether to create a public or private Facebook group.
And, Facebook just steamed up things all the more! 🔥
With that said, I believe, it has now become all the more important to discuss whether to choose a public or private Facebook group and end the debate once and for all.
And that’s exactly why I created this blog post.
Whether you thought a private Facebook group is like owning your own group or a public Facebook group does not require moderation or maybe something else, this guide will put an end to these misconceptions.
Moreover, it will give you every little detail about a public and private Facebook group and help you make the right choice.
In the next few minutes, you’ll know:
- How exactly is a public group different from a private Facebook group?
- The benefits of public and private Facebook group
- Which one of the two should you choose?
Besides, I’ll also address the top queries concerning this.
So, without further ado, let’s get started with the basics.
(In case you wish to know about all the new features that Facebook announced in the Communities Summit 2020, check out our Complete guide on Facebook groups features on it.)
What is the difference between a Public and Private Facebook group?
As Facebook puts it,
Going by its name, a Public Facebook group is an open group where anyone (who is on Facebook but not a member of the group) can easily find a public group upon searching and see:
- The content that members post and the comments on it
- The list of group members
- The list of admin(s) and moderator(s)
Additionally, anyone can engage with and share the content.
However, as per the recent announcement of Facebook, the admin will be able to control who can engage in the public groups, going forward.
On the other hand, a Private Facebook group does not offer this level of flexibility.
Although non-members can find it easily upon searching, they will only be able to see:
- The name of the group
- The group description and rules
- The list of admin(s) and moderator(s)
To be able to see the list of members, the content they are posting, and sharing, you need to become a member of the group.
Moreover, private groups can also be hidden.
Meaning: They are not found upon searching and the only way to join them is via invite. So, you can decide what to share and know who can see it.
One thing common between a public and private Facebook group is that the admin has complete control over members and posts. Simply put, the admin can remove a group member or post at any point in time.
What are the benefits of a Public and Private Facebook Group?
I’ll start with shedding light on the advantages of a public Facebook group.
1. Ease of sharing
People outside the group (i.e. non-members) have an option to share the post they like.
When they do that, they are not only sharing some valuable information or an entertaining meme with their circle but also spreading the word about your newly created Facebook group.
Daddy Club is a public group that Adit Kohli, one of the power admins of our community recently created.
I’m not a part of it (for obvious reasons!). But, I’m easily able to see all the content and even have an option to share it.
2. Wide content reach and impact
Content posted in a public Facebook group has a massive reach as people outside the group are able to see the content. And as I mentioned above, the share option definitely has a role to play here.
Have a look at the post below. Sapna Senger, who admins multiple communities shared how her new public group, named Brain and Physical Development Activities, that currently has 6.6K members attracted 13K (almost twice the number of members) people in a live session.
A Tip: Use relevant hashtags for the content you post in your public group as it maximises the chances of your group becoming discoverable.
3. Higher chances of growth
When anyone can see the content posted in a public Facebook group and can share it, it increases the chances of the group’s growth.
It all depends on the content and your group’s objective. If these fall in line with what a person is looking for, they will certainly join the group, helping it grow.
Apart from these benefits, here’s another thing that you need to know about a public Facebook group.
Because it offers ease of sharing and ensures high visibility, it requires comparatively tighter moderation. As people can join in easily, you just need to be on your toes and keep a tab that the ones joining are not potential spammers.
With that, let me now tell you about the advantages of having a private Facebook group.
1. Less probability of fake profiles joining in
Unlike a public Facebook group, members of a private Facebook group need to send a request to join that group and even answer a few questions.
Post that, the admin or moderator scans their profiles and reviews their answers.
Only if they feel that the profile is genuine, will they accept the request. So, this certainly means bye-bye spammers!
2. Exclusivity helps the group grow
Only after their request is approved, will the people be able to see posts, visit other member profiles or participate in conversations in a private Facebook group.
It is this exclusivity that not only builds up curiosity amongst non-members but also attracts them. Hence, there is a high chance they will join your group.
3. Easy to share personal feelings
People refrain from sharing their actual feelings and other personal queries openly.
That’s where a private Facebook group comes in.
The conversations that happen in a private group remain in the group only and no outsider can either see or engage. This way members feel safe and more comfortable to open up and share their hearts out.
In fact, private parenting groups have the feature of anonymous posting where members can ask their query or share anything without revealing their identity.
“We’ve heard from parents that they want a way for them to discuss topics they may not be comfortable sharing openly. To enable members of a parenting group to make sensitive posts without revealing their identity, we’re adding Anonymous Post to Facebook parenting groups.”
Have a look at the message one gets when they choose to post something anonymously in a parenting Facebook group.
I believe that by now, you must have a fair idea about a public and private Facebook group.
I know you must have a few queries. Trust me, I have addressed them below.
Now, it’s time to answer the most asked question when it comes to Facebook groups.
Public or Private Facebook Group: Which one should you choose?
It’s pretty simple…
If you are soon going to create a new Facebook group or have already done that, and want to get maximum visibility and create a lot of impact in a short span of time, then a PUBLIC Facebook group is what you should create.
Not to forget to be mindful of the conversations happening. They should not be personal or private.
For instance, if you have a community on kids education, coding, digital marketing, health, etc. then a public group is your best bet.
On the other hand, if you’ve started a parenting or doctors’ community where a lot of personal information sharing will happen, then you should undoubtedly stick to a PRIVATE Facebook group.
Sure, the reach will be comparatively less as compared to a public Facebook group but it will grow with time. All you need are the right set of strategies.
If you are looking to grow your Facebook group, no matter the size, check out our blog on 16 Ridiculously simple ways to grow your Facebook group.
That said, the bottom line here is:
The onus is on all the community admins out there to define the type of conversations that happen in the community and then choose a group type. Of course, keeping in mind the objective and category.
While a public group is more open and mostly has general conversations, a private group is a tight-knit community where members can share their personal stuff.
Now that you know almost everything about private and public groups, let me finally address the most common queries that community leaders have.
These revolve around the privacy settings of a public and private Facebook group.
Can you change a Public Facebook Group to Private?
If at any point in time, you feel that you’d like to switch from a public group to private, you can easily do that from the settings.
Go to ‘Edit group settings’ and click on change privacy.
When you do, you get the option to turn a public group to private
Can you change a Private Facebook Group to Public?
No. Not anymore.
However, this was possible before May 2020 for private groups with fewer than 5000 members.
But as per the announcement by Facebook (in the first half of the year), the option to change the group type from private to public was removed. This came as an attempt to protect group members from unintended exposure.
Previously, when the admins could change their private groups to public, members felt uncomfortable and saw it as a breach of privacy. For simple reasons that all their conversations were out in the open and everyone was able to see them.
Keeping all of that in mind and to ensure uniformity across all Facebook group types, Facebook updated its group settings.
So, that’s about it.
I hope you’ll be able to make an informed choice now.
Do let me know which Facebook group you created and feel free to share its link. 🙂
If you wish to know more about anything else, leave your comments below. Or you can also share your concerns or suggestions in our Facebook group, Growth and Monetisation for Facebook Group Admins where hundreds of community admins are constantly discussing this and so much more about community building.💃🏻
Most of these admins are using Convosight to grow, engage, monetise, and get daily updates for their Facebook group(s).
And I must say, they’re loving it.❤️
If you wish to increase your Facebook group engagement by minimum 10x or simply want to get updates or monetise, SIGN UP here. We’ll reach out to you super soon! 😊
Creating value in the lives of others with my content, little by little.
Working at Convosight, a SaaS tool for growing, engaging, and monetising Facebook groups, I’m currently passionate about providing the most useful information, to community admins, by community admins.
Out of office, you can either find me lettering or reading! 😇