Facebook will be continuing its recent trend of breaking off features from its main social media network into stand-alone apps.
The social media company has unveiled a new app called "Groups." Unlike the Messenger app, however, the Groups functionality will not be taken out of the main Facebook app.
"People use Facebook Groups every day to stay in touch with family, collaborate on projects, plan trips and offer support to friends," the company said in a statement. "Today, we're introducing a new Facebook Groups app that helps people share faster and more easily with all the groups in their life."
The app is targeted at the roughly 700 million people who currently use the Facebook Groups feature every month to communicate and share media. The app itself is available for both iOS and Android, and notifications from each group will be presented separately, allowing users to more easily keep track of activity in those groups.
Facebook has had a rather busy year when it comes to building apps. Since January the company has released a total of five apps, each tying, in some way, back to Facebook's core service. The attempt to create a Facebook experience on smartphones echoes back to when the company released the Facebook Home launcher last year, which ultimately failed.
Another app the company recently released is called Paper, which is essentially a more beautiful version of Facebook. Other apps include Slingshot, an ephemeral messaging app, and Rooms, which is an anonymous chatting service.
Facebook is one of many large tech companies striving to dominate the smartphone app market. Apart from Android, Google has released separate apps for documents, Powerpoint presentations and spreadsheets, as has Microsoft.
"One of the things that's happening on mobile is that there's an increased focus for apps to do one thing really well," said Mark Zuckerberg in a recent interview. "So on desktop, a lot of the things that might have fit well into a single Facebook website now, in order to best serve people, you need to build multiple stand-alone different apps."
It's nice to see Facebook will not be removing the groups functionality from its main app, like it did with messages and the new Messenger app. While many were frustrated they had to use the new app, it now boasts more than half a billion monthly users. Zuckerberg said in a recent open forum talk that asking users to download the Messenger app was a "short-term painful thing," but will prove worthwhile it in the long run.