Exciting New Tools & Features from Facebook Communities Summit 2021

Facebook Communities Summit (FCS) 2021 did not disappoint. From an impromptu dance session with TOKiMONSTA to emotional words about what community means by Brandon Leek, the summit was jam-packed with exciting, inspirational, and informational content. Jay Shetty capped it off with his words of wisdom for creating content and self-care tips for community builders. Sandwiched in between were community awards, videos about outstanding communities, and info-drops about new products and features from the who’s who of Facebook, including Mark Zuckerberg himself.  

While a huge part of attending FCS was the actual experience, there are still some valuable takeaways for those who did not attend. Primarily, all that was revealed about features that are rolling out to Facebook Groups in the coming year. I am so excited to be able to share these new tools for Facebook with you! 

Tools for Creating More Customized Groups

  • Group Colors: Soon, Facebook groups will be more customizable than ever! While we have been able to choose from a few group colors for a while, the options will open up with the ability to choose any color hex code as the theme for your group. This will allow for organizations to extend their brand identity to communities like never before!
  • Group Emojis: This new tool will give group admins the option of choosing which emojis members can use to react in their group. Imagine being able to react with taco and burger emojis in your food group or a cat emoji in your pet group!
  • Group Type/Feature Sets: Currently, features available in groups are limited by the “Group Type” of that particular group. However, Facebook is recognizing that not all groups fit into just one type! The tools will soon be grouped into Feature Sets and admins can choose which features they want to use and not use in their groups! This has rolled out to some degree with the option to turn off things like “Sell Something” and “Ask for Recommendation” but this will greatly expand on that. 
  • Suggested Posting Formats: This feature allows admins to suggest preferred formats for posts in the group. Things like “Take a Photo” or “Ask a Question” can become recommended post formats.
  • Improved Safety, Equity, and Inclusion: Facebook did not elaborate on exactly what this will entail; however, I am excited to find out. 
  • Featured Section: For those who do not have this feature in their groups yet, this feature will continue to roll out in the coming months. It allows admins to create and sort a ribbon of featured posts at the top of their group.
  • Admin Assist Updates: The admin assist function will be expanded upon to offer admins suggestions and information about what to reject. 
  • Notification About Rule Changes: Each time a group’s rules are changed, all members will receive a notification.Clicking on that notification will bring them to the rules section where the updated rules will be identified.
  • Columns: This might be the long-awaited replacement to group docs!!! Columns will allow for the creation of longer format posts and articles that will have their own place to live in the group. 

New Member Onboarding Experience

New members will be automatically greeted by a customizable onboarding experience upon joining/being accepted into a group. This Experience consists of several screens they have to swipe through including:

  1. Customized message from the admin team: Here you can write anything you like including a greeting, information about your mission, expectations, or how to use the group.
  2. Information about the admins and moderators.
  3. List of group rules.
  4. A section allowing admins to let members know how to get started in the groups. For example, how to create the first post, where to review important information or any other tips for new members.

Admins will also have the option to create a welcome post right from the Post Composer section that can be used at any time. Admins will be able to automatically tag up to 500 new members at a time in a welcome post and set reminders for themselves to welcome new members! 


For me, this was one of the most exciting announcements. Groups will now be able to have subgroups within them to focus on specific topics as admins choose. All admins and moderators of the main group will have their status carry over into the subgroup and there will also be the option to add additional moderators to specific subgroups only. (What an awesome way for new mods to get their feet wet in your group on a smaller scale!)

Subgroups can either be open for anyone in the existing community to join or set to private if admins want to include only members that they approve. There will even be the opportunity to create subscription-based or paid subgroups (more on this later)!

Monetization Options

Facebook is creating additional tools to make it easier than ever for admins to monetize their groups in a variety of ways.

  • Group Shops:  This option will allow groups to sell group merchandise and other items to members. 
  • Paid Subgroups: Paid subgroups will allow admins to continue to post special members’ only premium content to specific subgroups and charge a membership fee for the subgroup while keeping the original group and the content available there free. 
  • Community Fundraisers: This new feature will allow groups to hold community fundraisers and solicit donations without being a non-profit. These fundraisers can be for special group projects, community members, to offset the cost of running the group, or to compensate the admin team (think TipJAR or Buy Me a Coffee). While payments are processed through Stripe and they collect a fee, Facebook will not be collecting any funds or charging for Community Fundraisers. There are some caveats though. Admins must be 18+ to participate, the group has to be active for at least 30 days first, and has to abide by all Community Standards. 

    Facebook also warns that admins are responsible for ensuring that the funds are used for their intended purposes. Though it was not mentioned, there will likely be some tax implications for the group like having to file a 1099 for funds received. If the group is not a non-profit, these will not be tax-deductible donations. 

New Integration Between Pages and Groups

This feature was barely touched upon, but Facebook hinted at a new experience that combines the best of Pages and Groups into one experience. Allowing it to run like a page but have the features and engagement possibilities of a community. There will be something new called “Admin Voice” that will allow admins to speak officially as a group/page admin similar to posting to a group as a page. 

Like all new features, still in the works, there were plenty of warnings that these features are subject to change. Following familiar patterns, not all features will be available to all groups right away.  These will likely roll out region by region and group by group over the course of the next year.

If you missed the public portion of the Global Keynote, make sure to check it out! While only the first 45 minutes of the 3 hours of content I mentioned here is available, it is still worth watching. Which of the new features mentioned are you most excited to see roll out and how will you use them in your community? Let me know in the comments below. Not sure how these features may affect the community experience for your members? Reach out for a consultation today. 

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