Facebook now shows members or a photo at the top of Groups

Facebook just quietly rolled out a small but very noticeable change to Groups. They are now more visual and more Timeline-like. Are you seeing the update yet?

Facebook just rolled out a small redesign to Groups. The social networking giant now picks a handful of members and features their profile pictures at the top of the Group. Clicking on any of the thumbnails will take you to that group member's profile.

As you can see in the screenshot above, one of the Facebook Groups I administer, titled University of Toronto Ski and Snowboard Club, now highlights eight members. I believe the number eight is static and doesn't depend on your resolution. The eight members are the ones who were active in the Group most recently.

Here's how Facebook describes the change:

New! Easily see who is in the group Now member photos are right at the top of the group - just click on someone to see their timeline. You can find the old group picture in the group's photos.

That's not all. The update also means you can now update a Timeline-like cover photo for your Group. I say "Timeline-like" because it doesn't have the same dimension requirements: it's noticeably smaller. Timeline covers require a resolution of 850×315 while Group photos require a resolution of 800×170. Anyway, here's an example of a new Group photo I set for my Group.

By making the addition of an image optional, and setting member profile pictures, Facebook is making sure that all groups are more visual. The company could have defaulted to a photo from the Group, but not all Groups have photos uploaded. All Groups have members though, by definition, so Facebook is making a smart choice here. The change also means Groups look more like the rest of the site, which seems to be embracing the Timeline everywhere.

I have contacted Facebook for more information on this new feature and will update you if I hear back.

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