Facebook now aims to ‘Bring the world closer together’ & gives a big push to communities

Facebook has just announced its new mission statement: ‘Bring the world closer together’. To compare, the previous one was all about ‘Making the world more open and connected’. Does the new statement feel a bit more community-driven?

Perhaps. And that’s fitting: at the Facebook Community Summit in Chicago yesterday, Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will be focusing more of its attention on its network of communities around the world: “Our full mission statement is: give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. That reflects that we can’t do this ourselves, but only by empowering people to build communities and bring people together.”

There’s big ambition on Facebook’s part to get people more invested in groups and communities: We found more than 100 million people are members of what they call “meaningful communities”. These are groups that upon joining, quickly become the most important part of your social network experience and an important part of your real world support structure.

So now we’re setting a goal — to help one billion people join meaningful communities. If we can do this, it will not only turn around the whole decline in community membership we’ve seen for decades, it will start to strengthen our social fabric and bring the world closer together.

Practically speaking, this means making the community 10x bigger than it is today.

Here are some practical updates to groups’ functionality in line with the mission to empower communities (copied ad verbatim from FB’s newsroom):

  • Group Insights: group admins have told us consistently that having a better understanding of what’s going on in their groups would help them make decisions on how to best support their members. Now, with Group Insights, they’ll be able to see real-time metrics around growth, engagement and membership — such as the number of posts and times that members are most engaged.
  • Membership request filtering: we also hear from admins that admitting new members is one of the most time-consuming things they do. So, we added a way for them to sort and filter membership requests on common categories like gender and location, and then accept or decline all at once.
  • Removed member clean-up: to help keep their communities safe from bad actors, group admins can now remove a person and the content they’ve created within the group, including posts, comments and other people added to the group, in one step.
  • Scheduled posts: group admins and moderators can create and conveniently schedule posts on a specific day and time.
  • Group to group linking: we’re beginning to test group-to-group linking, which allows group admins to recommend similar or related groups to their members. This is just the beginning of ways that we’re helping bring communities and sub-communities closer together.

For the full speech, see here.