When Facebook launched Groups in 2010, it was a barebones tool for sharing updates with people you knew personally, like family members or a kid's softball team.Now there are groups for every interest imaginable, with a few members or hundreds of thousands of people.The way Zuckerberg describes it, being active in Groups can be a political act, a grassroots way to address the ills of the world."A lot of the important stuff that needs to happen in the world [is] global ...Now the Facebook CEO is acknowledging that connecting people online isn't enough."We used to have a sense that if we could just do those things, then that would make a lot of the things in the world better by themselves," Zuckerberg told CNN Tech. It's important to give people a voice, to get a diversity of opinions out there, but on top of that, you also need to do this work of building common ground so that way we can all move forward together." The company even has a new mission statement: "To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together." This marks the first time the company has overhauled its mission, which had previously been "to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected." Zuckerberg believes he has just the tool for the job: Facebook Groups, which are now used by a billion people.
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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.
The new emphasis on Groups is the culmination of months of public appearances and posts by Zuckerberg stressing the importance of community. S., professional photographer in tow, to meet people from every state.
Anyone can start a group, and they can be public, closed but publicly listed, or hidden.
An administrator can control who joins and police content.
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"A lot of what we can do is to help create a more civil and productive debate on some of the bigger issues as well," Zuckerberg told CNN Tech's Laurie Segall in Chicago on Wednesday night.
It was his first in-depth interview for television since 2012.
Facebook, which has a market value of about 0 billion, has a responsibility to use its sizable resources to do positive things, he says, and that should naturally create value down the line.
"That's why it helps to have control of the company," he said.