Facebook has announced that they are removing the group chat function that they launched in October last year. The original introduction of the group chat feature was to facilitate intimate discussions between group members that remained separate from post comments.
The announcement will officially come into action on August 22nd but the reasons behind the removal of the feature remain unclear. However, they did provide the following information.
“- On Friday August 16th, the option to start a new chat in a Facebook Group will no longer be available.
– On Thursday August 22nd, existing chats in Facebook Groups will still be readable, but you will no longer be able to chat further.
Our team knows that it’s really valuable to communities on Facebook to be able to communicate in real-time the way that Chats in Facebook Groups enabled. The current product infrastructure doesn’t support Chats in Groups directly in the Facebook app, which can no longer support this feature.
That said, we are exploring new ways to support real-time communication for Groups, but don’t have any details to share about those future plans just yet.”
We can only assume at this stage that the issues related to system capacity, but the reasons behind this remain unclear.
When the feature officially launched, it allowed up to 250 group members per chat and essentially meant that any one of those users had the ability to spam the group chat with messages. The real issue here is that users are becoming increasingly protective over their intimate messaging, and may not be happy with people they don’t know as well, sending them direct messages. Though this is just one speculation as to why the group chat feature is leaving Facebook, it does seem fairly plausible.
That’s only speculation – Facebook has also provided some additional pointers to help members and Page admins manage the change.
- This change will not impact group chats in Messenger with your friends – only chats in your Facebook Group. You will still be able to start a group chat with anyone who you are friends with or are connected to in Messenger.
- In order to find a previous Chat in Facebook Group, you can search for the chat in Messenger by either typing (a) the group chat name or (b) the name of a member of the group chat.
- On August 22, it will appear in Chats in Facebook Group as though all members are “leaving” the chat. This isn’t because they are opting to leave, but rather, because it is part of “archiving” the chat.