Can I Open a Family Account on Facebook?

By Alan Sembera

Facebook is a good way to stay in touch with family members when distance or a busy schedule make getting together difficult. Sometimes, though, you may not want to share private family photos with casual Facebook friends, even if Grandma and Grandpa can't get enough. One solution is to create a Facebook group comprised of only family members. Your family will be able to participate in group chats, upload pictures to shared photo albums and send messages that will go only to other family members. Family members must have their own Facebook accounts to participate.

Step 1

Log in to your personal Facebook account and click the "Home" link on your Facebook toolbar.

Step 2

Select "Create Group" from the options on the left side of the page. If you have joined several other groups, you may have to click the "More" link next to "Groups." If you can't find the option, you can navigate directly to the Groups option page (see link in Resources).

Step 3

Create a suitable name for your group. If the group will include only immediate family members, something simple such as "The Johnson Family" is probably adequate. If you want to make the group visible to a wider audience, something more specific may be in order, such as "Kenneth and Meredith Johnson Family" or "The Johnsons of Poughkeepsie."

Step 4

Set your group's privacy settings. Setting the group to "Closed" prevents nonmembers from reading your family gossip and seeing your personal family photos. New members must be approved by a group administrator (which is you at this point). The group name will show up in search results, and other people can ask to become members. Setting the group to "Secret" hides the group from everybody but its members, and new members must be added by other members. Select "Open" if you want to let anyone see the family news.

Step 5

Add at least one family member to your group by typing a Facebook username into the "Members" field. You can add several names at once by separating each name with a comma. At this stage, you can only add people who are on your Facebook friends list. Once the group is created, other members can also add their Facebook friends to the group.

Step 6

Click the "Create" button.

Step 7

Set up the basic appearance of the group page by clicking the gear icon at the top of the page and selecting "Edit Group" from the options. Write a description of the group page, add a profile picture and provide an email contact address. Click "Save Changes" when done.

Invite other family members to join the group. If the privacy setting is "Closed" or "Open," the family members can navigate to the group page and click the "Join Group" button on the upper-right corner of the page. The new members must be approved by a group admin. If the group is a "Secret" group, new members cannot ask to join the group, and can only be added by another member who is on their Facebook friends list.