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How Powerful can Facebook Groups be?

Henry Elliss
Henry Elliss
Managing Director
3 December 2007

The MoveOn group which was set up to protest Facebook’s beacon system has now reached 65,000 members and continues to grow – and a lot of the members are taking the credit for Facebook changing the Beacon system from Opt-out to Opt-in by default. So, with that in mind, what other large groups are there on Facebook which could also use their power for good?

51rfobwxywl__ss500_ "Let’s set and break a Guiness Record!!!! Approved by guinnessworldrecords.c…"
Currently sporting 2,559,542 members and arguably the biggest group on Facebook, it’s aim is to break the record for "Uniting a large number of people in one place". Oddly, a cursory search on the Guinness website doesn’t bring up details of either this group of the existing record, but that could just be me searching wrong – please do correct me if I’m mistaken!

"I bet I can find 1,000,000 people who hate George Bush"
Now up to 820,264 members and still increasing at a rate of knots, this group goes to show that Facebook users who dislike the current US president are not in short supply. Unfortunately, it looks like a large proportion of their number are not US residents, so the likelihood of the group being able to do anything useful is looking pretty slim!

N2208419959_8443 "I Secretly Want To Punch Slow Walking People In The Back Of The Head"
One of the more random groups around, but also one of the most popular – currently attracting 664,182 members with over 10,000 joining each week (give or take). I’m not entirely sure what good could come of this group (other than a healthy bit of public venting) but just imagine what would happen if all 660,000 members decided to make good on their secret fantasy… The London Underground would be an easier place to get around for a start!

"Jeremy Clarkson should be Prime Minister"
Presumably attracting mainly UK residents (although I know Top Gear is popular in the USA too), the group currently has 233,178 – amazingly, if all of these members decided to vote for Clarkson he’d actually stand a reasonable chance of becoming an MP, if not Prime Minister. But hey, baby steps and all that – could it be only a matter of time before Jezza gets rid of the Congestion Charge and Speed Limits for good? Only time will tell…

N5061058426_3744 "A favour to ask, it takes less than a minute"
At first glance this group seems to be a Facebook-based equivalent of the good old fashioned chain e-mail – i.e. get 10 people to sign up. However, what the group is actually encouraging it’s 385,090 members to do is visit the www.thebreastcancersite.com website which will in turn donate mamograms based on the number of people that visit their sponsored pages. You can’t really argue with a cause like that!

"National ‘Go to Class Drunk Day’ 2008"
A bizarre but humourous group with 202,152 joinees, encouraging it’s members to go to class sozzled on November 20th 2008 – after the apparent success of this year’s version. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of power for "good" in this group, just the power to make a lot of teacher’s lives a bit harder for the day…

N2341278532_6241 "The Battle for the UK’s favourite university"
This sponsored group from mobile phone giant O2 has now reached over 107,826 members – proof that marketing your brand in the right way can be a success. There are over 2,500 discussions going on in the discussion group and over 89,000 posts on the wall.

"THEY ARE TRYING TO SHUT DOWN FACEBOOK – PETITION TO KEEP IT! INVITE ALL!"
Despite the fact that the basis of this group is a legal petition to close down Facebook which is faltering in the courts, this group has still attracted a wopping 1,648,590 members. The discussions on the board seem to be mostly off-topic and there’s a lot of spam in their too, but you can’t argue with the size of this group at the end of the day. What they’ll actually be able to do is yet to be seen, but hey…

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