Meta removes 3rd party access to Facebook Groups
On January 23, Meta shared that within 90 days, the platform would be deprecating its current Facebook Groups API (how 3rd party apps connect with Meta) and updating to a new API version that no longer allows access for developers. What this means is that Facebook Group admins will no longer be able to use any 3rd party tool/ app to help manage their Facebook Groups. No more live streaming with a tool; no more scheduling posts with a tool; no more tools, period.
This affects our community of hundreds of thousands of direct sellers, network marketers, affiliate marketers, and small business owners who currently use private Facebook Groups as the main social channel for their businesses, teams, and communities. The majority also use a variety of helpful 3rd party tools to help them save time and more easily manage their groups like CinchShare, Zoom, and Streamyard. Luckily, we’ve been through Facebook changes in the past and are here to help you navigate how to best market your business on social after this update.
The good news… you will still be able to schedule natively within Facebook, although it’s time-consuming and makes it harder to manage posts for your business on other social platforms. The bad news…. it’s going to be much harder and take a lot more time to post in Facebook groups. This means it will be even harder for small businesses to be successful because with social media marketing, you need to be consistent and it’s nearly impossible to be consistent without a scheduling tool.
Meta’s update is unfortunate, but it didn’t surprise us. The Facebook Groups API has been broken for over a year and Meta told developers they would not be fixing it. On top of that, Meta has been adding even more public places for 3rd party apps to connect and post to such as Instagram and Facebook Reels and Stories, both of which Meta has been prioritizing.
This is why we’ve been hard at work to develop more features to help social sellers be successful across multiple social platforms that go beyond just Facebook Groups like Instagram and Pinterest and integrate with more content types like Reels and Stories. We’ve also added a content library with over 15,000 ready-to-use social posts for our users and we are wrapping up some brand-new additions to our app that will further enable our users to create, organize, and share their content anywhere!
For the last 10 years, we’ve had the opportunity to help over 300,000 small business owners save time and easily manage their social media posts, including posts to Facebook Groups. We serve users in 124 countries with 98% of our user base being female entrepreneurs. CinchShare users currently manage 2.9 Million networks with our app, which delivered over 30+ million posts to Meta in 2023 alone! Facebook’s removal of third-party access to Facebook groups could be devastating not only to our own users and business but to small business owners around the world as well.
Unfortunately, Meta has not been clear as to why they are shutting down their Facebook Groups API. Jennifer Johnson, CinchShare’s CEO, believes Meta’s decision will ultimately change the use of Facebook groups and how direct sellers, network marketers, and small business owners market their businesses on Meta and beyond to other social platforms. “It’s 2024 and posting in private Facebook Groups is no longer enough. Facebook group reach has been declining and Meta has been favoring reels and stories. Fortunately, there’s already been a shift with coaches and leaders in the social selling space encouraging their audience and teams to get their businesses to stop relying solely on private Facebook Groups. With so many places for businesses to show up on social media, this is great to see.”
While it’s still unclear what future plans Meta has for Facebook Groups after their removal of third-party access, it’s become more clear than ever where Meta is driving attention. Facebook reels are the leading Facebook format, Facebook reels have the highest average engagement rate, and since Meta recently added the ability for third-party tools to connect to Facebook and Instagram Reels & Stories, it’s a pretty good indication of where to show up. We believe social sellers that pivot (if they haven’t yet) and post their content to more public channels, like their Facebook Business Page, Facebook Reels, Facebook Stories, Instagram, Instagram Reels, Instagram Stories, TikTok, YouTube, Pinterest, and LinkedIn will likely have higher success in the coming months than those that drag their feet with Facebook’s changes and continue to try and build their business solely within a private Facebook Group.