Facebook introduced its dedicated Groups app for mobile back in 2014, claiming that there were close to 700 million people globally who used the Groups feature, and that the app would make accessing Groups easier on a mobile device. At an event in New Delhi on Wednesday, Facebook announced that over 1 billion people around the world now use Groups every month. In India, Facebook's Groups feature is used by over 80 million people every month. The company however didn't announce separate numbers for the dedicated Groups app.
Facebook also talked about some of the popular India-based Facebook Groups including MUMO aka Mumbai Moms, which has over 69,000 mothers from all across the city and was founded in 2014. The group works towards making the community more evolved and engaging for mothers. Another such group is Teachers Help Teachers, which was founded in December 2015 and now has over 4500 members. It has an aim of sharing ideas, resources and information within the teaching community. Adit Vaidya, Products Manager, Facebook Groups said groups start as small platforms where people are looking for connection with members, and soon many turn into large communities.
Giving a boost to the Groups feature in India, Facebook also announced that it is bringing the 'Groups Discover' feature here, making India the third market, after US and UK, where the feature will be available. The company started testing the discover feature in Groups back in May this year. The new Discover feature will let users search groups by category and also get recommendations based on added friends, locations, and interests. The Discover feature currently offers 25 different categories including parenting, education, sports, food, buy and sell, networking, animals and pets, hobby and leisure, support and comfort, and travel.
Facebook also announced that there were 155 million monthly active users in India as of second quarter of 2016. In terms of daily usage, Facebook has 77 million daily active users in the country. On mobile, Facebook has 147 million mobile monthly active users, while 73 million mobile daily active users.
Vaidya revealed that groups based on parenting, education, food, and sports were some of the most popular in India.
"Facebook groups give you an opportunity to meet people whom you don't know in real life but are people with whom you share something in common that could be a hobby or an interest," said Vaidya. He confirmed that Facebook has enabled Live video for Groups which means users can stream moments to other group members live, as they happen. Only other members of the group would be able to see the video.
According to Vaidya, Groups help users in many ways, such as keeping in touch with family, working on projects, planning trips, as well as offer support to friends. "Regardless of what your hobbies or interests are, Facebook Groups can help you connected to the most meaningful things in your life and help you meet people just like yourselves, who have similar challenges and issues, and let you communicate," he said.