How to Manage a Facebook Messenger RoomAnita Kirkbride
NOTE: Facebook Messenger Rooms appear to have been deprecated in July 2017. My Room is still there, but we can no longer create new ones. Stay tuned!
Facebook Messenger Rooms are a great way to communicate with people you may not otherwise be connected to on Facebook, but there are some pitfalls awaiting those who choose to open and manage a room. Recently I opened the Social Media Halifax room (click to join) to give small business owners a place to chat with each other about their social media endeavours. We’ve had some great conversations about Facebook contests, Facebook ads, SnapChat, and even spam. It was the most recent spam attack that inspired this post, actually.
Things to Know About Facebook Messenger Rooms
- They are public. Anyone can see them amongst their own list of Messenger conversations. With an open Room anyone can join, but an admin can choose to approve members instead.
- There is a url for each room, which you can use to invite specific people to join. For example, click here if you’re interested in the Halifax Social Media Room.
- You can share admin responsibilities with other members of the Room, just remember that other admins can remove YOU from your own room! There is no Super-Admin setting yet and I have seen people get kicked out of the Rooms they created.
- The conversation flows just like any other Messenger conversation. Every time someone responds the entire Room is notified.
- The admin can choose a colour and emoji to represent the room and make it stand out amongst all other Messenger conversations.
- You can set up an event reminder for the Room, so that everyone will be notified of something at the same time. This would be great for webinars, tickets going on sale, flash mobs gathering, protests, or just friends having a party.
- You can hand over the admin right to a Room to someone else and leave the Room yourself.
How to manage a Facebook Messenger Room
Just like any other type of group, on any network, there are some basic things with which the admin should be prepared:
- A description of the Room to let potential members know what will be discussed within.
- A set of Room rules. I recommend putting the rules in the Room description and also pasting them into the conversation stream regularly for new members and as a reminder for old members.
- You can wing it, but it will be much more engaging if you make a plan for getting the conversation going on a regular basis.
- Welcome new members and ask them to introduce themselves.
It doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that!
Warnings About Facebook Messenger Room
I learned there are some features missing from Facebook Messenger Rooms that, as an admin of a public group, I would really appreciate having.
- While you can remove a member from a Room, they can immediate request to be admitted again. I know the documentation from Facebook says there is a 24 hour waiting period, but I removed someone and had a new request to join within minutes.
- If someone posts spammy or otherwise inappropriate photos to the conversation stream, the admin cannot delete the photo for everyone. Each individual Room member must delete the photo, which is really unfortunate when it’s disgusting p&rn! This happened in my Room and I found out the hard way that admins had very little control over this.
- If your Room gets spammed, each member can “delete the conversation” from their settings panel instead of scrolling up to see and remove individual photos. I wish we had known this when it happened. Having the instructions ready to copy and paste into the room in an emergency wouldn’t be a bad idea.
- Removing someone from the Room does not remove their previous posts from the conversation stream. In fact, they will still be able to see the entire conversation up until the point at which they were removed. They just won’t be able to add anything new to it.
- Blocking someone from the admin/members panel blocks them personally and does not affect their status within the Room. They will still be able to post and interact with other Room members.
Currently, Rooms are only available in Canada and Australia. Are you itching to get your fingers on a Room? What are your plans for it? How will you use it? Let me know in the comments.