November 21, 2014

Using an Old Facebook Group? Upgrade Now!

Before there were Facebook Brand Pages for everything under the sun, there were Facebook Groups where business owners connected with users over a common interest. And even with the addition of these Pages, some small business owners are still loyal to their original groups, using them as powerful discussion forum and shared space. If you’re one of those people and you’re still using the old Groups format, it’s time to switch over. Before Facebook kills your entire community. Doh!

Wait – haven’t we heard this before? Sort of.

Last month we introduced you to Facebook’s Business Page Migration Tool, which allowed SMBs who had created personal Facebook profiles for their businesses to transfer them over to an official Facebook Brand page instead. We also told you that if you didn’t do this soon, you ran the risk of Facebook taking hold of your page and not giving it back. Well, it looks like the same thing is about to happen to that Facebook Group you created back in the day.

If you’re running an older Facebook Group, you may have seen the following Alert waiting for you at the top of your page:

The Alerts lets you know that Facebook will soon be archiving old groups and it asks that SMBs take the time to update to the new
Group format.

What does that mean?

Essentially, Facebook is phasing out the old-style Groups they originally created. All Groups still using the old format will be “archived”, meaning the page will remain live but the community, for the most part, will be destroyed. According to Facebook, when the archiving process happens they’ll move over your Group photos, wall posts, and your Group description, but you won’t get:

  • Recent news
  • Group officer titles
  • The info box under the old group picture
  • The group network
  • The members of your old group.

Yeah, it’s that last one that small business owners really want to be concerned with. Don’t upgrade your group and Facebook will wipe its members clean.

So what do you do?

Upgrade!

If you see a message at the top of your old group with the option to upgrade, click “Upgrade This Group” to upgrade to the new groups format. Once you do, Facebook will move over all:

  • Group photos and Wall posts
  • Group discussion threads, which become Wall posts
  • The group description, which can be found at the top of the page when you click “See All” members in the new group
  • Members of the old group

Facebook will NOT bring over any news, officer titles, or the group network so if you want to keep that information, you should save it beforehand. Once upgraded, small business owners will have access to new features like the ability to chat with their group, share photo albums, poll the group, connect off Facebook and create group docs to pass along information.

It’s worth noting that creating a Facebook Brand Page is still the Facebook-approved way to promote yourself or your business on the site. Groups really are solely intended as a shared space for people to participate in a communal activity. For example, if you run a small business podcast for your business, your podcast may be a Facebook Group, but the page that represents your real business will be a Brand page.

There’s no telling when Facebook will archive all its old groups, so I’d recommend you upgrade sooner rather than later.

46 Comments ▼

Lisa Barone


Lisa Barone Lisa Barone is Vice President of Strategy at Overit, an Albany Web design and development firm where she serves on the senior staff overseeing the company’s marketing consulting, social media, and content divisions.

46 Reactions

  1. Out with the old and in with the new – Facebook style (which means that they don’t care what feedback you have, they just want you to do it their way from now on).

  2. I have yet to find where our discussion board is and, when you click a message pertaining to a post in the IPO, it takes you to the wall, and not the specific thread. This kinda sucks when you get a notice that somebody liked your link or post, and you don’t know what link or post they are talking about.

  3. ARGHHHHH!! Discussions are now Wall Posts! TERRIBLE idea….they serve two different functions. A wall post is a read now and move on kinda thing. Discussions can go on and on for months, and it was simple to refer back to them. Now, we have to scroll through the entire wall…..How can we address this obvious usability flaw??

  4. I don’t mind the upgrade so much…but there is no UPGRADE NOW button available on our group page! I’m more concerned with the timing of FB archiving the group. Weighing these options…start a new group now and manually add the 1,200+ members (not an easy task with no way to download a membership list) or hover and hope an upgrade button will be made available soon so we can preserve the membership rolls. Suggestions?

  5. Our group pages also don’t have an upgrade option. Any idea why this is? We have over 700 members in both and don’t want to lose them.

  6. Debbie I am in the same boat and I have not seen anything that will make it an easy transition other than messaging all the members and asking them to “Like” the new Group page. Is there an 800 for Facebook? I have not been able to find one.

  7. I can’t find the upgrade option as well. Any suggestions on how to get an upgrade option?

  8. My Solution:

    1. Manually copied all of my group members’ names into a text document.
    2. After the conversion to the new group format, I will manually invite each of them to re-join the group.

    Note: the widget for inviting people to join the new groups doesn’t allow you to invite whole lists of friends at a time. You have to input the names one by one – and they must already be a FB friend.

    What we need is for some clever developer to make code or an app which will do all of the above steps automatically somehow.

  9. Nina Wallestad

    How do you upgrade if the “Upgrade This Group” option doesn’t appear on your group page? I want to upgrade, but Facebook is not giving me this option. What does this mean?

  10. I am wondering as well when we will see the “upgrade now” button! Does anyone have information on how to do that before all is lost?

  11. Debbie, Rhonda and Eric
    I too have this issue. I have a group of two years that is used for networking and information about local conventions in the Bay Area. We have 345+ members and we have a lot of photos and other things such as events and recent news that will be totally scrubbed by this.

  12. In the same boat with not seeing an ‘upgrade’ button. What really makes me mad is that we have spent a couple hundred dollars to help build our group presence via facebook ads. I’m assuming I won’t get a refund of that from FB….

    Wishing there was an UNLIKE button more than ever today

  13. I am having trouble getting the new Facebook Profile upgrade. When I click on “Upgrade My profile Page”, I don’t see the GREEN button on the top left of the page. Can you please help me!!

  14. “If your old group has enough recent activity to make it a good candidate for a new group, you will see a message at the top of the group with the option to upgrade.”

    I found this in the help center on fb. Hope that helps everyone.

  15. Many are getting the message that the group will be archived and they are not allowing an upgrade. This means we have wasted our entire investment advertising and promoting our groups through facebook ads. Those who have spent money advertising groups at Facebook’s urging should have a pretty good class action suit against the company.

  16. I have 3,500 members in one group and 1,600 in another. I’ve spent about $1 in advertising per group member to get them.

  17. I am a creator and admin for a Group with over 4000 membership. I would like to upgrade it to the new group format but have not seen the option on the group for me to be able to do that. I have received requests from some group members to upgrade the group but I do not see the option to do that. I can even find a facebook email address. Please assist.

  18. I am trying to find where the archived Group of The Sean Ashley House (We make a House a Home) can be found. I’m upset it was upgraded without notifying me. I want to print out the discussion board & the pictues I had just finished posting!!!!!!

    Please inform how I can find this information.

    Thank you,
    Gretchen Wilson, Founder
    The Sean Ashley House

  19. In principle, the new “Groups” format transform the Discussion pages’ “Topics” in “Status”, and the discussion threads into “comments”.
    Nevertheless, after painstakingly scrolling down the Wall [many hundreds large pages for some groups, I constate that up to 95 % of the Discussion pages were lost or incomplete in some groups I patron. In others larger quantities of the texts can be recovered, but never in their totality.
    So far, my queries to Facebook in this sense -as well as those of others, haven’t be neither answered nor acknowledged.

  20. I have a private group (604 members) for the window covering industry. Now Google is using the FB resluts on the SREP’s. I would love to take advantage of this, how can I do that?

  21. I have an old group that just already upgraded. The old photo albums are not converted to be new photo albums automatically. We have to create new one manually and then reupload new photos.
    Anyone can tell us how to convert those old photos to become inside the photo albums of the upgraded group? Thank you.

  22. I spent a lot of $ advertising our facebook group… if anyone else is in the same boat and is starting a class action please let me know. You can find me at Aotea Wake Park (page/group)

  23. Facebook has to prove the suckers out there that it is worth $50 billion and that they can make revenue. Expect more moves against freebie users in the following months.

  24. NB you won’t see the warning if your lang setting isn’t in US Eng!!!
    (Go to bottom of your ‘newsfeed’ page to change lang options)Hope this changes! & I’ve read you won’t get option to ‘upgrade’ if you don’t have enough activity on your wall. Also from what I’ve read it sounds like if you are a big group/business they want you to become a ‘Page’.

  25. oh yeah good one!!!! i just changed my language to English US & the up grade came up straight away!! Thanks Anita!!

  26. New Group format is HORRIBLE as it allows any member to spam the entire group and thus force every member to get an email.

    Just imagine having a group of several thousands.. now 1 person in the group needs a job, apartment or has a party to promote. How annoying is that and now your purpose for the group is lost totally! You created the group for business and your competitor now can email the entire group bad mouthing you and advertising their services! IE using all the work you’ve done for years to build up the group against you.

    Mark Zuckerburg in one shot has now killed facebook.
    Google + I hope will offer something better.

  27. This new group format is just not suitable, and nor are the pages that facebook want everyone to create. It’s very intrusive just by having the chat to group option. Any member clicks chat, they get the chat window open to every group or page member online, regardless of chat option being offline. This is not good and i for one have removed myself from these groups and pages.
    Well done facebook. Kill yourselves why don’t ya!!

  28. I`m an admin of a FB Group although, I can’t find the update button anywhere! How ca I update it without loosing all the current members?

    Thank you!!

    R

  29. Very irritating…We had a family group without a whole lot of activity going on all the time, but bursts of activity around the time of certain events. I had to create a new group and transfer all the photos etc. because it never gave me the option to upgrade.

  30. I have no option to upgrade & want to. We will be having more activity due to a 55th class reunion coming up next year.

    Can you give me specific directions or, preferably, place the upgrade option on our website, please?

    What does it matter to you how much activity we have on our group page, we all have our own pages which have plenty of activity. Sounds unfair to me if we don’t get the option on our group page!!

    Barb

  31. Meybe they are just stupid, they cant figure the way to upgrade all groups without bringing the network down. Hhehehee, hey we will always have Google+ ;-)

  32. Why do groups have to be upgraded ? What’s wrong with the way they are????

  33. I also run a group on facebook which has 2000+ members and I am furious with the upgrade!

    I am unable to do the things I did before, such as messaging all members at once (quite important), it does not function like a group and I have spent not only money for advertising but also many many hours inviting people to join my group.

    We use our group (Help Fight the Pitbull Ban) to advocate for proper and effective legislation for dogs and resent breed specific legislation (BSL), this being said it is imperative that I be able to contact members easily and not only hope that members see a post on their news feed..

    So now because I have no option to ‘upgrade’ my group I will have to not only add everyone to my friends list but invite each and every one of them back individually!!

    Please contact me as well via my facebook group if anyone discovers how to fix this and/or there is some type of action taken in defense of all the hard work, money and time we have put into our groups, only to have the manageability abilities taken from us without consent..

  34. Looks like I have the worst case.. I have over 57,000 members! (facebook.com/group.php?gid=233352393576) I do not have an upgrade button. The thought of losing all of them to an archive makes me crazy. Any updates?

  35. Whatever you do, do it now! We just lost over 1000 members from our group that was upgraded without giving us any notice! I’ve no idea how to get them all back again. What a disaster

  36. Let’s make something clear no matter what you do you loose. Facebook put us in à no win situation. In all alternatives the member base is deleted and you start From zero.

  37. so, what if there is no ‘upgrade’ button. i have a group that would be a PITA to recreate from scratch–not to mention getting all of its members to rejoin. how to i upgrade if FB deems i don’t have ‘enough activity?’

  38. I’d love 2 upgrade my facebook in order 4me 2have my pics nd profile pics

  39. I was wondering if there was a way to see recent activity (or lack there of) from group members? I want to delete members who are not activity using the page. thanks!

  40. I want to upgrade my group to the new timeline format but I don’t have an option to upgrade. What can I do?

  41. Facebook’s closing of older groups was a forced migration. Shipping off group members to a electronic concentration camp where they went up in smoke. All because not of a lack of activity but because they weren’t making money. Now people know what it was like for Native Americans as well, uprooted from their homes driven awåy from family and friends.

    As cold and bloodthirsty as it gets!

    I”ve heard that Zuckerman was in cahoots with the CIA in the creation of Facebook, now I believe it!

  42. We have a group with almost 600 membership, but we do not have a share option next to like and comments. Is there a way to add this option? Thank you so much!

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