Facebook archives old groups – How can you keep your friends?
Facebook has placed a notice on old Facebook groups saying that over the next months these groups will be archived. While some of the features will be kept, the most important result of your work, your community, will be deleted. How can you keep your organisation’s friends during this migration?
There’s no easy way unfortunately and that is one of the disadvantages of building a community on a platform you don’t own or control. Game rules can often change and you have no other option but to follow. However, there are a few things you can still do.
Back in October 2010, Facebook was introducing a new type of groups meant to generate small communities of friends based on interests. Old groups continued to exist. Some months later, Facebook is forcing its way though, making everyone migrate to the new style, whether they like it or not. Certain features will be preserved in the archived group, such as: photos, wall posts, discussion threads. What will no longer be available is: recent news, the info box, the officers of the group, but most importantly the entire network of friends you’ve built. Read more about the change here.
What to do?
If you were using your group for your organisation – planetarium, museum, observatory etc. you have two options: migrating to the new groups or creating a Facebook page. In the first case, you could preserve your network by manually adding people to the group (a feature enabled in the new format). However, such groups are meant to be used among limited groups of friends, for personal reasons. Therefore you will not be allowed to build a large community, which is likely to happen for a popular place like an observatory.
My recommendation would therefore be to open a Facebook page – the official way after all to have an organisation present on Facebook. You will have to rebuilt all the content though. As for friends, the only way I see to keep at least some of your friends is to:
- keep your old group as long as possible (don’t accept the upgrade or the archiving until Facebook does it itself)
- keep posting regular messages on the group wall, announcing people that the group will be closed and that if they wish to keep receiving information, they should Like your new page (link to your page)
If you were the administrator of a Fan Group for an organis
ation that you liked and you feel it is too much of a trouble to start all over again, then the best thing you could do for the friends you gather is posting regular messages to your group wall announcing that the group will be closed and that if they wish to continue receiving news, they should follow the official page. (link to the official page).