Facebook is prettying up its mission statement. Previously, when Facebook cofounder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks about his goal for the site, he says that he wants to make the world "more open and connected."
Zuckerberg Thinks Facebook Should Bring People Closer Together
But while Zuckerberg does believe the need to widen channels of interaction and foster this huge sense of belongingness via digital intimacy through a site that's, well, largely dependent on advertising — it's still a business, after all — the old mission statement no longer represents the site's desires accurately. So with some tweaks, it now reads:
"To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together."
Zuckerberg announced the new mission during a Facebook Communities Summit in Chicago on Thursday, June 22. In a status update, he says he believes that bringing people closer together is the most important thing the company can work to achieve. He notes that while Facebook has stayed committed to make the world more open and connected, "our society is still divided."
Connecting The World Isn't Enough, There Must Be A Sense Of Community-Building
"It's not enough to simply connect the world; we must also work to bring the world closer together," he says.
To do this, Mark says Facebook needs to lend people voices to render a diversity of opinions, while also building a "common ground" for everyone to make progress together.
"We need to stay connected with people we already know and care about, but we also need to meet new people with new perspectives," he said.
Perhaps the site's new mission statement is the result of months or years of Zuckerberg's personal soul-searching of what he intends the site to become, and, more importantly, what he wants it to serve as for the people who are part of it. The concept of Facebook not merely as a venue but as a product also probably came into play as he thought of the new mission statement: As you can imagine, Facebook explores other areas of business, too — the likes of VR, artificial intelligence, and much more.
The question is, how can it ensure that Facebook becomes more than a place where people just share selfies, fake news, or cat photos? How can it be the definitive go-to place for community-building and online interactions?
No one but Zuckerberg can dictate that, of course, but last year's noxious election period — and the alarming but probable accusation that Facebook influenced its unexpected outcome — and the spate of fake news running amok in newsfeeds forced the company to rethink what kind of company it truly is, and what happens next after the world becomes more open and connected than ever before.
Though initially balking at the notion that it swayed the results of the U.S. Elections, Facebook later relented, taking responsibility for the site's role as a significant channel where news often ends up. It led to Zuckerberg himself admitting that while his company roots from a tech background, it's neither a traditional technology company, nor a traditional media company.
Facebook Has Become More Than A Social Media Tool
Beyond the flurry of selfies, photos, connecting friends, sharing status updates, Facebook's role in the broader social — and perhaps psychological — landscape has ballooned in recent years, indeed.
In a lengthy manifesto published February, Zuckerberg himself admitted that his company has become an influential force in the social construct of modern human interaction, and with that in mind, Facebook's next mission makes itself clear. Certainly, the numbers are there. Facebook is close to reaching 2 billion users. Nowadays, it's rare and probably even unusual for a person not to have a Facebook account. So the logical next step is to make sure there's a proper social infrastructure for these people "to build a global community that works for all of us."
"Our lives are all connected. In the next generation, our greatest opportunities and challenges we can only take on together — ending poverty, curing diseases, stopping climate change, spreading freedom and tolerance, stopping violence. No single group or even nation can do them alone," Zuckerberg says.