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How to Create a Family Facebook Group

Use privacy features to keep your family's info in the family

The Privacy setting here controls the group's online visibility. If you want the group to show up in Facebook searches and be completely visible to anyone, including the member list and anything that's been posted, choose "Open" here. For more privacy, choose "Closed": Facebook members will be able to find the group, see the members list and ask to join, but they won't see the postings. To fly completely under the radar, choose "Private."  That way, the group won't show up in a Facebook search and nobody but members will be able to see it — the group name won't even show up in your profile.

Now just click "Create" and — voilà — your family has an online home!

As the creator of the group, you're automatically considered a group administrator, which means you can change settings, approve new members and remove members who make nasty comments about you at a family wedding. You can share these privileges with other members by making them administrators, too. Just click "See all" next to the Members List on the group home page and you'll see the "Make Admin" option under each name. You'll also see a little "x" next to each name. Click one of these to remove a member from the group.

If you look to the left of the group name at the top of the page, you'll see a drawing of two heads in a box — boring! Click on it, though, and things get more interesting. Now you can upload a family photo or even crowd around the webcam (if you have one) and take a picture then and there. Now that photo will be the face of the group, much like the Profile Picture in your personal Facebook account.

Another feature worth setting up is a group email address (you'll find this option under "Edit Group"). You create the first part of the address (say "AARPMember" as an example) and Facebook adds "@groups.facebook.com." Now, whenever anyone sends an email to AARPMember@groups.facebook.com, the message will appear automatically in every group member's News Feed.

That takes care of the basics: If you need additional information, Facebook has a comprehensive help section for group features here

And, of course, now that you have the family site under your belt, it's time to think about additional opportunities for quick-and-easy group sharing. Do you play on a sports team, or belong to a club or congregation? Are there a group of friends at work who'd like to share private messages during off-hours? Facebook lets each member join up to 300 groups, so the only effective limitation is your imagination.

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