Groups are a collection of items, usually related to a specific area of interest. Groups provide a way to organize items and control access to them. If you have the necessary privileges, you can create groups and share items with the group as a way to organize your items. As a group owner, you decide who can find the group, whether others can request to join, and who can contribute content. You can invite other organization members to join, even if your group doesn't accept membership requests. Group owners can also promote other group members to group managers, which allows them to perform many of the tasks that owners perform on the group.
Groups that allow others to join the group and contribute items are a useful way to collaborate. For example, you're a biologist working on an international bird habitat map template. You search for groups whose members are sharing local bird habitat data that you can use. You can join the group and share your template. Together, your group can create a standardized international habitat map with rich local data layers.
Groups can also be used to organize specific types of data and users. For example, a group dedicated to imagery analysis may contain only hosted imagery layers, and only members with privileges to perform imagery analysis will be invited to join.
Groups also help you to organize high-profile content. For example, administrators use groups to feature content on the home page and gallery and build custom galleries for basemaps and app templates.
You can share a public group by posting it on a social networking site, emailing a link, embedding it in a website, or creating a group-based app.