At the Facebook Communities Summit, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will take on a new mission in order to gain a sense of community. The new mission, according to Zuckerberg, is “Bringing the World Closer Together.”
Mark starts off his speech revealing how he has been involved in multiple communities on Facebook. From being an admin for a Facebook group for the game, Civilization, to being a part of a support group for his father who was coming out of major surgery, Zuckerberg uses Facebook as a tool to connect to these communities. Others have also used Facebook for this reason, whether it is making communities about empowering themselves or connecting to people who have the same job.
“I can relate to this. I started Facebook to connect my college. I always thought one day someone would connect the whole world, but I never thought it would be us… but we cared so much about this idea — that all people want to connect. So we just kept pushing forward, day by day, just like you,” said Zuckerberg. “Another thing that impressed me is you’re not running these groups because it’s going to look good on your resume. You’re doing it because you care about bringing people together.”
Zuckerberg believes that even with people running these communities on Facebook, others are still divided. He wants to connect all different types of people, regardless of their differences. If Facebook can connect all these little communities to create on dedicated huge, Facebook-centered community, then he believes that it will help “bring the world closer together.”
“Our lives are all connected. In the next generation, our greatest opportunities and challenges we can only take on together — ending poverty, curing disease, stopping climate change, spreading freedom and tolerance, stopping terrorism,” said Zuckerberg. “No single group or even country can do that alone. We have to build a world where people come together to take on these big meaningful efforts.”
One of the ways Zuckerberg says Facebook will be connecting different people together is by suggesting them to “meaningful communities” that might have something to do with them. These “meaningful communities” are the ones that people consider important on and off social media, so by suggesting new ones to you, Facebook has the chance to connect you to people you may normally never talk to. Their goal is to have 1 billion people join “meaningful communities,” which even seems massive for the website.
The second way is by giving the admins of these communities more tools to actively engage with the community’s members. One tool will allow admins to see what their members are up to on Facebook. Another tool will be used for managing member requests, and allow admins to categorize each person (Zuckerberg gives the examples of gender or location) and mass add or mass decline the new member requests.
“That’s the power of the communities you’re building. You may think you’re just creating a space for new moms, or bird watchers, or locksmiths. But when you give people a way to connect and a sense of support, it can lead to important changes, said Zuckerberg. “We all have the power to be leaders. And if enough of us work to build community and bring people closer together, we just might change the world.”
It’s interesting to see Facebook try to take the initiative to connect people to people who may be wildly different than them, especially in the face of recent political matters. Facebook is already preparing to use artificial intelligence to block terrorist propaganda from appearing on the website and have recently outlined how they handle “graphic content.” So, it will be up to Facebook to uphold the standards they have laid out for themselves.