Facebook Promoting Private Groups for Families to Keep Older Users Engaged

familygroups1If the fastest growing demographic on Facebook is women over 55 and the number of Facebook users over 35 doubled in the last 60 days, what’s Facebook plan for keeping older users coming back to the site? One important part of it is increasingly encouraging users to connect with their family members inside Facebook.

Recently, Facebook began promoting the creation of private groups for families through this wizard. The wizard combines 3 elements:

  1. Creating a private group for your family
  2. Inviting your family members on Facebook to the group
  3. Inviting your family members not yet on Facebook to join Facebook and the group

Here’s how it looks:

familygroups1

After you create the group, it’s no different than any other private group on Facebook: users can post discussion topics, photos, videos, and links, but no one else can access it (or even know it’s there) unless they are invited. It’s a simple way for families to stay more connected on Facebook.

familygroups2

Of course, Facebook users interested in tracking their family members’ Facebook activity more closely can also create a home page stream filter for family members. To find out how, read our 3 tips for customizing the new Facebook home page.

Facebook users interested in more powerful tools for communicating with family members can check out We’re Related, the fourth most popular application on the Facebook Platform as well as Family Tree by Familybuilder, with nearly 2.5 million monthly active users. As large genealogy sites like Geni and Ancestry.com have shown, building out your family tree is a great scenario for viral marketing.

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9 Responses to “Facebook Promoting Private Groups for Families to Keep Older Users Engaged”

  1. Michael Opencorners says:

    In most cases, users on this type of social medium have neither the expectation, or motivation to communicate with older markets. When a 25 year old wants to talk to a 55 year old, they dont do it on the computer. Older markets are not your savvy technological users, not to mention they missed out on the internet era that foundated daily habits such as email, instant messanging, and so forth.

    The question is, do they want in now? We can guess that the older markets are broken up into a plethora of categories regarding behavior and interest, so catering to a bewildered technological user becomes a risky, as well as daunting, because their commitment level is already statistically dwarfed.

    Now, *family* comes into the game. The entire milyu of the term family in our lexicon has many different meanings to people. Family can revolve around common denominators like food, or religion, but communicating outweighs all else.

    Communicating with family, is sort of a daily habit in the commitment of the term family itself. Introducing family rounded applications on facebook is simply pacifying a minute interest older markets already have pinned down, and it opens the floodgates for younger markets to become influencers for those older markets, because there is the underlying commitment – family.

    I have used both We’re Related and Family Tree on Facebook. I would rather use Family Tree (http://apps.facebook.com/familytree), because they offer me as the user more tools to engage with, regarding my family and users who i actually *consider family*. Family Tree has everything We’re related has, and way more, plus Family Tree is GROWING, while WR is DYING.

    It’s pretty obvious which to use on Facebook, imo.

    Anyone who has any secrets, remember to keep it in the family. =)

  2. Jesse Rice says:

    This was a really helpful article. Once again, Facebook is choosing “practical” over “cool,” making it all the more potent. Any guess as to who #200,000,000 is going to be this week?

  3. links for 2009-03-31 | Ip's. says:

    [...] Facebook Promoting Private Groups for Families to Keep Older Users Engaged "If the fastest growing demographic on Facebook is women over 55 and the number of Facebook users over 35 doubled in the last 60 days, what’s Facebook plan for keeping older users coming back to the site? One important part of it is increasingly encouraging users to connect with their family members inside Facebook." (tags: facebook marketing web2.0 families) [...]

  4. Bruce Christensen says:

    At 55 I am behind when it comes to this technology. But at this age I have many more memories of great family experiences than some on Facebook. It is my desire to look back, while staying connected to the present, that drives my use of Facebook.
    It was my Gen-Y children that invited me and my 55 year old wife into the Facebook system. Their desire to share their experiences is the magic of this network.

    Distance causes families to loose close ties, and technology can return some of the support structure that exists in traditional families.

    It is not a surprise that Facebook and other family networking platforms are growing.

  5. LOTD: 4/2/09 - The April Serious Edition? | Open The Dialogue says:

    [...] is looking to lock-in the older demographics who are flooding onto the social network.  They’ve created a private groups for families wizard that helps anyone easily get their family in one, private place on [...]

  6. Facebook Promoting Private Groups for Families to Keep Older Users Engaged | Insomniac Ramblings says:

    [...] Facebook Promoting Private Groups for Families to Keep Older Users Engaged . [...]

  7. Deborah says:

    How do you change a name on a branch. I type in a wrong name in. I am having a hard time trying to correct it. Thanks for any help.

  8. luvzakat says:

    Someone has put me on a family tree that I am not related to. Please, how can I delete myself off???

  9. Shamsul says:

    it would be better if in the family group also we can create photos album same as what we he in our personal FB.

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