Will Group Posts and Chats Give Facebook More Cliques?


Ever wish you could easily exclude your relatives from your Facebook messages about your latest beer bash or your colleagues from your rants about work? Facebook on Wednesday said it has revamped its so-called 'Groups' feature to make it easier for members to send messages to subgroups of friends, instead of messaging either one person at a time or everyone on their friend list.

The new feature will enable users to break out different groups of friends from the main list and to specify which groups will have access to various notes, announcements, pictures, video clips and online chat sessions.

"We've long heard that people would find Facebook more useful if it were easier to connect with smaller groups of their friends instead of always sharing with everyone they know," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a blog post Wednesday. "The net effect is your whole experience is organized around spaces of the people you care most about."

Facebook, the world's largest social network, is adding features to try to extend its lead over MySpace. All together, Facebook boasts more than 500 million users, half of which log onto the site on a daily basis.

That number has been growing rapidly. As of August, Facebook was the fourth most popular U.S. website, behind Yahoo (YHOO), Google (GOOG) and Microsoft (MSFT) sites, according to ComScore. Facebook's 148 million unique visitors in August represented a 62% jump from the same month a year earlier.