Last night in an interview with CNN, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a major overhaul to the largest social media company on Earth, one that might finally fix many of the lingering issues its leadership has been hesitant to address.
I’m kidding, it’s a new mission statement.
“To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together,” will be the new defining principle of the company, currently valued at $US440 billion ($583 billion). The old mission statement was: “To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.”
Here are the worlds that are the same in those two sentiments: To, give, people, the, power, to, and, the, world.
“Build” and “make” are related terms deployed similarly here, as are “connect[ed]” and “closer together”. A new mission statement is purely cosmetic, but here’s where the Facebook of yesterday differs from next-generation Facebook:
Before: Sharing, openness
Facebook is decidedly an enemy of the open web, and sharing without consideration is a large part of what made the platform a well-oiled misinformation machine. The initiative to focus on community will take the form of Facebook Groups, according to Zuckerberg, a feature which is already seven years old. According to CNN, a billion people currently use Groups. Zuckerberg believes the company has “a good shot within five years or so to get to this goal of connecting a billion people to meaningful communities”.
One interpretation of this exchange is that Facebook’s CEO is doubling down on a product feature he doesn’t consider particularly meaningful at the moment, despite having ample time to fix.
Another is that nothing newsworthy came out of a heavily scripted interview with a CEO other than a few new buzzwords to slap on a shambolic but fantastically wealthy company.