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Hands-on with Facebook Groups, a spin-off app you'll actually want to use

Caitlin McGarry | Nov. 20, 2014
Facebook’s roster of experimental apps has been hit-or-miss, but Groups is a must-use for fans of old-school Facebook.

Groups is a product of Facebook's Creative Labs team, which is tasked with making experimental apps that wouldn't make sense in the main app--or would infuriate people who hate change--and so far the list of apps has been hit or miss. Ephemeral messaging app Slingshot required you to respond to a message before you could view it, which at first was funny but quickly became infuriating. Anonymous app Rooms, which launched earlier this month, has potential, but the QR codes you need to enter a room or invite people to a room you've created are wonky and often don't work. Another app, Mentions, is designed just for VIPs, so I'm not sure how popular it is. Paper is a beautiful, ad-free version of Facebook's News Feed that still lets you send in-app Facebook messages, so I'm not sure why its popularity has languished.

But Groups is probably the most useful. It's an app that will remind you of how the world's largest social network used to be before it had to cater to 1.3 billion people, when Facebook was still fun.


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