First of all let me congratulate for starting this very important conversation. Facebook Groups continue to be a very powerful way to keep the stickiness of Facebook for people like me who are on the fence of keeping their account active at all. I am a participant on 2-3 Facebook Groups that honestly I don’t think would run outside of Facebook well. One is under 100 members that I run for an alumni club. The other is a 5000+ member group for a piece of software I resell.
It’s the second group that I think would be amazing outside of Facebook Groups, but I fear that the since the average age of that group is closer to 50+ and their technical level is quite low, I do wonder whether there is another factor to consider on moving off Facebook Groups: mobile enagement.
It is the asynchronous nature of these communities with strong mobile app support that keep systems like Facebook, Slack, Twitter stickier than ever. Without a strong mobile experience for a community platform and extraordinarily easy out of the box onboarding, I fear that “yet another place to click” phenomenon may take over. A community that has spent years on Facebook will need to have something extraordinarily better to go to, and if it fails on mobile, I think that community will suffer greatly. The risk is real.