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Facebook Group: the difference between secret, closed and public

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When creating a Facebook Group you are asked to set privacy settings. You should suit this setting to your group’s purpose. Like membership sites, you can customize Facebook Groups so that they are “Secret”, “Closed” or “Public”. However, many people wonder, "What’s the difference between “Secret” and “Closed”?"

Very little on the surface: With both types, only actual members can make posts and see posts from other members; either in their own feeds or in the Group feed. With a “Secret” Group, however, it is absolutely un-findable, whereas a Group that is merely “Closed”, the Group can be found and seen in searches.

  • “Open” Groups are great when you want to round up as many people as possible interested in a broad topic: For example, a Winter Gardeners club or a Chili Lover’s club – and especially a “Coupon Club”.
  • “Closed” Groups are great when you want to kick privacy up a notch and deal with a focused topic, such as Vegan Living or Cross Fit Training. Members can still invite others and search allows your Group to attract new members.
  • “Secret” Groups are best suited for an elite membership club… or for a Group dealing with highly sensitive topics (e.g. “Abuse Survivor Group”). Just remember, however, that nothing on Facebook should be treated as highly confidential or sacred, since Facebook rules are known to change without warning. (Pro Tip: You will need to be friends with and personally invite people to a “Secret” group. If you want them to request access, choose “Closed” instead.)

Getting the level of privacy right is absolutely crucial to running a successful Facebook Group. (You can see instantly which type of Group you belong to by checking the “About” section in the upper right hand corner of the Group page.)


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