Facebook is adding a touch of Messenger to its groups, enabling members of groups to chat with up to 250 fellow members, as well as to start audio or video calls with up to 50 members.
The social network said more than 1.4 billion people are using groups each month, and there are tens of millions of active groups.
Group members can start chats by selecting the Chats tab at the top of their group pages and clicking Start Chat, after which they are taken to Messenger, where they can name the chat and choose which members to add.
Chats in groups can be viewed and joined by any member of those groups, and only group members can participate.
The feature is being rolled out gradually, and when groups are added, members will receive a notification from the group that enables them to opt to receive further notifications when chats begin. Or chats can be accessed via the Chats tab.
Notifications can be turned off, or people can opt to only be notified when they are @ mentioned in the chats.
Group administrators can close chats or limit their creation to admins only.
Facebook said what debuted Thursday is an initial version of the feature, and it will evolve over time.