Their tremendous success on Facebook was not without its pain points. Several issues arose using Facebook as a third-party platform for hosting The BuyNothing Project’s communities. The constraints of the platform did not allow for new, innovative features to be added. Additionally, every time Facebook made updates to groups the community had no choice but to pivot to adapt and operate within these new changes. Also, many people wanted to join the community but simply had no interest in using Facebook.
Managing a massive number of communities, with new ones created on an almost daily basis, began to take up a lot of time. It was clear that The BuyNothing Project needed a custom-made solution to host all their communities in one place where they had more accessibility and administrative power. Migrating from Facebook to a proprietary application also meant they could operate outside the restriction, and unpredictable updates, of Facebook groups.
The key challenges of the project included:
- Building a proprietary application.
- Migrating from Facebook Groups, gaining freedom to develop how they see fit.
- Coming up with unique features that were previously restricted by Facebook.