Since its inception, Facebook has created a variety of ways for people to communicate and share similar interests. One way to connect people with similar interests involve Facebook groups, which are pages dedicated solely to one idea, entity, person, place, or thing. Facebook groups can focus on anything the creator of the page wants to focus on, and the group page can be customized by the creator to accomplish certain goals or to simply facilitate discussion. Facebook groups have become a marketing tool on the most successful social networking site in existence.
Some Facebook groups focus on a particular product, and the page is therefore used as a marketing tool for a company or corporation. Such groups often include updates on products, special offers, and general discussion about the company. Promotional pictures, logos, and slogans are common on such pages, as are links to external websites where group users can purchase products, find more information, or access other facets of the company's brand.
Other Facebook groups are simply places where people with similar interests can communicate. The group can be a broad category, such as "rock music," or the name of a particular band. Fans of such music can come together to network, become friends, discuss prominent themes within the topic, and share photos, links, and other information.
The privacy settings on Facebook groups are customizable. The pages can be made public or private, which allows the creator to control who sees the content of the page. Most marketing pages, such as pages of companies, artists, and businesses, are generally set to public so that anyone with a Facebook account can join. Other groups, such as local groups or organizations, a group of friends, or other personal pages, can be set to private so that only those Facebook users who have been invited to join the page can view the content.
Activists have also taken advantage of Facebook groups to mobilize contingents of people for a variety of causes. Around election times, groups urging people to vote are quite common; environmental causes have groups on Facebook; political activists have taken advantage of the social networking tool to encourage people to join the cause. Groups on Facebook are virtually limitless, with causes and companies of all sorts taking advantage of the free service that gives them access to an audience at no charge. Groups on Facebook do not require much commitment from users, as they can join or leave a group whenever they want.