Facebook’s new mission is to give the people the power to build community and bring the world closer together, the social network’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said. Zuckerberg unveiled Facebook’s updated purpose on Thursday at the social network’s first Community Summit, a gathering in Chicago of leaders from 120 different Facebook Groups, Forbes.com reported. Facebook’s earlier stated mission was “to make the world more open and connected”. Facebook’s new mission does not mean that the company is shifting away from connecting friends and family, but rather that it is broadening its focus to enabling people to connect with meaningful communities too, Zuckerberg was quoted as saying. “For 10 years, we focused on doing everything around connecting people with their friends and family,” Zuckerberg said. “Now I think that there is a whole lot of similar work to be done around communities: Meeting new people, getting exposed to new perspectives, making it so that the communities that you join online can translate to the physical world, too,” he said. Zuckerberg described this ‘new mission’ as an extension of Facebook’s original mantra that will guide the company over the next decade. “Connecting friends and family has been pretty positive, but I think there is just this collective feeling that we have a responsibility to do more than that and also help build communities and help people get exposed to new perspectives and meet new people — not just give people a voice, but also help build common ground so people can actually move forward together,” the Facebook CEO said.
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 US state to better understand how social networks affect their lives.
Interestingly, the announcement comes two months after Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer addressed the annual F8 developers conference at San Jose in April and said Facebook now aims to develop technology that will help everyone build a global community. Schroepfer noted that the company would invest in a number of foundational technologies over the next 10 years, including connectivity, artificial intelligence, and virtual and augmented reality.
Rather than looking for a one-size-fits-all connectivity solution, Facebook is investing in a building-block strategy — designing different technologies for different use cases, which are then used together to create flexible and extensible networks.