From their July 2010 statistics, Africa has over 2.8 billion mobile ad impressions available, an 18.5% growth from just one month before (June 2010). That’s an amazing figure, and amazing growth, by anyone’s standards. Only 16% of that inventory is on smartphones.
Well, Facebook has rolled out the new groups, approximately a week after I launched a page for something that might do better as a new group. Should I switch? Is it possible to bring over 300 fans? Given how new this is, is this the time to switch before it gets any bigger?
Here are the differences…
- all posts made by an admin are made as the PAGE itself rather than as the person
- posts made by the page show up in the newsfeeds of people who like the page
- posts made by individuals on the page do not show up anywhere other than the page
- you can tag other people and pages in posts
- there are lots of places to put information about the core product behind the page
- everyone posts as themselves on the group wall - there is no function for posting as the group
- posts do not show up in the newsfeed (as far as I can tell), but every new post, no matter who made it, comes through as a notification to all members
- there’s not really anywhere to personalize the group appearance with information about the core product
- comes with the ability to chat live with anyone in the group who happens to be online
So here are the trade-offs. A group is a much more social place. It doesn’t have that same corporate feel that a group has because everyone is just posting as themselves, and so it seems much more likely to result in conversations and get people involved. HOWEVER, there is no viral element to a group at all. Nothing you or anyone else does in a group ends up in a newsfeed, and so you don’t have that benefit of people running across your thing while seeing what their friends are up to on Facebook.
I run a blog about student life in the US. I really want to use Facebook to encourage people to discuss this topic and ask questions and learn from each other. However, we’re really young and just growing, and we need the publicity as well. Do I stick with the page and hope it will pay off in virality, even though I can see that it’s not being particularly conducive to conversation, or do I attempt to switch our 300 fans over to a group, in the hopes that it will become a truly social place?
Update: just ran across this in PBS MediaShift, which confirms my point. Experimenting with groups has shown that they may be more conversational, but they have no propensity for independent growth.
Verdict: I like it. This is a great tool (yes, I know I’m behind the curve). The only thing I wish is that it had more social features. I’d love to be able to cross-post to Twitter/Facebook and the live chat box, rather than just being able to pull in tweets.