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Facebook's latest standalone app lets you dive right into Groups

Nicole Lee , @nicole
11.18.14
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Get ready for yet another Facebook app. The social networking giant has just announced its fifth new app of the year courtesy of its Creative Labs division -- the others were Paper, Slingshot, Mentions and Rooms -- and this time its focus is Facebook's Groups, which the company says has around 700 million users every month. As you might imagine, the standalone Groups app (available today for both Android and iOS) offers a more direct way of interacting with the online communities within Facebook's walls. Instead of having to dig through the main Facebook app's menu settings to manage your Groups, the new app lets you see all of them at a glance the moment you launch it, with your frequently engaged ones slotted right at the top. The design appears to be much more intuitive, with a cleaner and simpler look overall.

Gallery: Facebook Groups | 8 Photos

Making a new Group is as easy as tapping "Create" and going through the tutorial, but if you'd rather join one that's already established, you can peruse the Discover tab, where you'll see suggested Groups based on criteria like liked Pages, your friends' groups and your location. And, just like on the main Facebook app, you'll be able to keep up with what's new with notifications, which you can fine-tune so you see just the ones you want. If you're concerned that a standalone Groups app might mean the feature will splinter off a la Messenger, don't fret. Zuckerberg and crew are keeping it right where it is in the main app, where you can access it as a part of the News Feed just like before, and they even promise to improve the experience over time. But if you're a member of a dozen different Groups and want a better way to handle them all, you -- and the rest of your online cohorts -- might want to give the new app a shot.

Facebook's New Standalone Groups App

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