Mark Zuckerberg Unveils Facebook's New Mission Statement

So the Facebook founder wants to bring more meaning to its almost 2 billion users by shepherding them into online groups that bring together people with common passions, problems and ambitions.

Facebook is changing its mission, from making the world more connected to bringing the world closer together, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday in Chicago.

Facebook executives have been contemplating the company's mission while dealing with several controversies, from criticism over its perceived role in spreading misinformation during the USA presidential election to its handling of violent live videos posted on the social network. Those changes already have boosted the number of people in "meaningful" groups by 50 percent over the past six months, Zuckerberg said.

Zuckerberg and the Facebook team believe one of the ways to encourage community building is through the platform's Groups feature.

Despite what the teens say, Facebook is getting bigger and bigger.

The administrators represent the variety of groups that have sprung up on Facebook, including Mormon mothers supporting their gay children, people suffering from rare diseases, and mental health support for veterinarians, who have a surprisingly high rate of suicide.

As participation in local communities declines across the globe, the 33-year-old executive said building "meaningful" groups online can help strengthen existing physical communities "by helping people come together online as well as offline".

"When enough of us feel a sense of support in our own lives, we can start to care about broader issues, too", said Zuckerberg.

He noted that the importance of community groups and leaders, like pastors and local advocates, and the impact of declining community membership had been visible to him on his "50 states tour", which will ensure he meets people in every USA state to better understand how social networks affect their lives. Eventually, it will enhance the relevance of Group in businesses, as Facebook has allowed Pages to link to Group directly and post in Group as Pages. They're created by the friends we choose to have, the people we decide to mute, and the stories we click. Now in one simple step, admins can remove a member, their posts, comments and other people added to the group.

"Not just to connect the world but to bring the world closer together".

"Because of Facebook, and because it's free, it gives you a level playing field with forces that can pay to get marketing and lobbying out there", said DeFilippi. "We want to help 1 billion people join meaningful communities".

Facebook, for example, would have to tread carefully in suggesting addiction-recovery groups to users, said Ime Archibong, Facebook's vice president of product partnerships.

  • Leroy Wright