The Facebook Groups Android App will soon be discontinued, the Menlo Park, California-based social media giant said on Saturday, specifying that the mobile service will be officially shut down on September 1. The move marks the latest step in the company’s endeavor to focus its development efforts on the main Facebook app, according to an official statement from the firm, which also reveals that the Facebook Groups service itself isn’t going anywhere and only its dedicated mobile client is set to be discontinued. The custom questionnaire, Group Insights, and other digital tools for Group administrators that the company introduced in recent months will all be supported going forward, Facebook said.
As Groups are gradually becoming an increasingly important component of the overall social media strategy that Facebook is pursuing, the tech giant apparently opted to transition all related features to the main Facebook app and browser client, which is a notable departure from its previous approach that saw it spin off Groups as a standalone service while simultaneously doing the same with Messenger. The latter app is still extremely unlikely to be merged with the main Facebook one as it currently boasts over a billion users. While the firm’s new community-centric mission statement may have been the reason for the company to discontinue the Groups app, the (lack of) popularity of the mobile service itself might have also played a part in that decision. Facebook was likely planning on discontinuing the solution for a while now as the app wasn’t working in a reliable manner for the last several weeks, though it still allows users in supported countries to log in and browse Groups and should continue doing so for the next three and a half weeks.
The iOS app will be discontinued simultaneously with the Android one, Facebook said, adding that all Groups users were previously able to browse through it will now be available in the main Facebook app. The latest development marks the end of the service that the company initially introduced in 2014 as a more efficient way of discovering and participating in its many online communities. The Groups app was also used as a testing and development platform for Discover a number of other features that later ended up being integrated into Facebook.