When a group is created, the owner has to set the join method of their group. The three options for join method include:

  • Anyone Can Join
  • Screen Join Requests
  • Invitation Only

The Public Group

The standard and most common group is a public group. This is a group that the owner has created, but is not concerned with who can see the group contents or who can join.

A public group will display on the group aggregation page and in searches. To join a public group, all a community member must do is click the Join This Group link on the group profile page. This link is part of the standard group overview module. Once clicked, a user is immediately added as a member of the group.

The Public Group with Closed Membership

If you want your group to display on the group aggregation page and in searches, but wish to have more control over who joins it, you need to set the Join Method to Screen Join Requests. This means that visitors can find your group, but instead automatically adding the user to the group, they become pending members.

The group owner must approve these pending members before they will be granted members. This is done from the Approve Members page which is accessed from the Group navigation. This link displays for the group owner or for the owner and moderators. This choice is made from the Group Permissions page.

The Approve Members Page

When there are no pending members awaiting approval, a message is displayed to let the owner know.

When members are pending, they will display in the order their requests were made.

Each pending membership request includes:

  • Avatar (links to user profile)
  • Username (links to user profile)
  • Action Items
    • Approve
    • Reject – this rejects the current request to join.
    • Ban – this bans the user from requesting to join again at a later date.

The Private Group

To make your group fully private, the group owner would need to set the Join Method to Invitation Only and the Privacy Level to Only Group Members Can Visit Group.

This privacy level will remove the group from the group aggregation page and search results, meaning the only way a normal user could find the group is if they were sent a link to it. Even then, they would not be able to see the contents of the group but would instead be shown a privacy shield page letting them know they do not have permission to view the group.

Below is an example of what a user would see when trying to visit a private group. Included is only:

  • Group name
  • Group avatar
  • Link to contact owner
  • Private group message