Pat KinselSince was released in April, many of you have asked for the ability to share a doc with a group of friends.

Facebook recently released a new Groups capability designed to help you share and communicate with unique sets of friends. For example, I’ve recently created the group ‘Cosmos’ to discuss life and share interesting links with some of my closest friends from high school.

Previously it wasn’t possible for 3rd party apps to add functionality to Groups.  But by working with Facebook and by utilizing a set of new APIs, we’ve integrated functionality into Facebook Groups. We believe this is a significant step forward for Facebook users who want to share documents with family, friends, classmates or co-workers. extends Facebook Groups in many ways.

  • Easily share Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and PDF files with a Group.
  • Collaborate together by inviting fellow group members to either view and/or edit your documents. For example, I’ve asked my ‘Cosmos’ friends to review my wedding guest list.’s support for Facebook Groups is easy and intuitive. Now, in the sharing control, you can select a Group to either view and/or edit your doc. This will post a Facebook newsfeed story to that Group’s Wall on It will also broadcast to each of the group members’ home newsfeeds. Any of these friends can simply click the doc and they can either view and/or edit it. And, of course, people can comment on the document within the Facebook newsfeed and beside the document itself.

With this new capability, now makes it even easier to share a doc with whichever Facebook friends you’d like. For view and/or edit permissions, you can select a set of individual friends, all of your friends, a specific Facebook group, everyone, or keep a doc completely private.

Support for Facebook groups represents one giant step toward our vision for social productivity. In October, we released a feature called user generated templates; it enables you to let your friends make their own copy of your doc. This, coupled with Facebook groups, takes us into new areas…

To illustrate one example, imagine the teacher who creates a Facebook group for her class. She can now share the assignment with her students who will discover it via their Facebook newsfeed. Students can ask questions in an open forum via Facebook comments. Because the assignment is a template, her students can immediately click to make their own copy and author the assignment online via the Web Apps or via Office on their PC or Mac. The students can share their completed assignments back with the teacher or the entire class. If the teacher tagged the template with the assignment name, a collection of completed assignments will be generated automatically. And, the class’s work stays in sync via the heartbeat that is Facebook notifications.

The teacher can reach her students where they are, using the tools they already know and love… Facebook and Office.

We hope you enjoy this new functionality for Facebook Groups and we’re excited to see how you will use it for your classroom, organization, or with a group of friends. As always, we look forward to your feedback, which you can provide on our support page.

Pat Kinsel [docs]

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