This month in Facebook virtual challenges… February 2022

Dan Papworth-Smyth
2 min readMar 2, 2022

Observations of what’s going on in the world of Facebook virtual challenges

For a while I’ve been sharing updates on Twitter about what I’ve been seeing across Facebook virtual challenges as the market evolves and expands. To keep everything easier to follow, I thought I’d move them over here…

  • February-March 2022 challenges finished the month with a LOT more Groups than January-February 2022 (49 vs 35), but fewer members (15% less). Runs making up a similar percentage of challenges as last month (15% vs 17%), more walks/steps (67% vs 49%) but far fewer fitness challenges (squats, planks, press ups etc).
Pie chart showing the proportion of different Facebook virtual challenge events in March 2022
  • I definitely saw more variety for February-March challenges with some of the largest Groups based on dog walking, planking, and knitting challenges rather than the ‘traditional’ runs & walks that usually dominate.
  • More and more organisations doing back-to-back events, with a few doing February, March, and April Facebook challenges. Running the acquisition for the next while one is taking place.
Screenshot showing three Facebook Groups by GOSH with ‘Walk 60 Miles in April’ ‘1400 Squats in February’ and ‘Swim 5k in March’
  • The next wave of regional split challenges mastered by Maggie’s which recruited over 40,000 members across their challenge Groups in January, looks like they have around 20,000 this time around. Combined that would by far make it the largest activity in those months.
Screenshot showing multiple different Maggie’s Facebook Groups for their challenges in different locations
  • Appeal-connected challenges, like this from UNHCR, are interesting to see too. Keeping the same format, but with a closer link to the impact through the messaging and branding to highlight the urgency and specificity of need.
Cover photo from the UNHCR’s latest Facebook challenge ‘300,000 steps to send hope to Ukranian families’
  • And lastly, seeing charities use Messenger as the registration journey like this example from NHS Charities Together. Taking people through step-by-step to register their details, create a fundraiser, and even set a reminder for when the challenge begins.
Screenshot of a Facebook Messenger chatbot conversation with NHS Charities Together



Dan Papworth-Smyth

Head of Digital Engagement at @BreastCancerNow, formerly of Breast Cancer Care and @TeenageCancer. Sometimes I take photos too. Views are my own.