Facebook was founded in 2004 and has ever since introduced and developed various technologies to connect people across the world. Like several other platforms on new media, Facebook has also contributed vastly towards transgressing the limitations of traditional media that only allowed a unidirectional flow of content and information. Anybody, regardless of their social or economic backgrounds can now voice their opinions with the potential of reaching millions of people via these platforms. This, in a sense embodies greater power among ordinary citizens and people who now identify themselves as active creators of information.
A platform as dynamic as Facebook looks at ways to constantly evolve and create opportunities that make the experience for its users far more personalized and efficient. In a first of its kind, the team at Facebook hosted a Facebook Communities Summit in Chicago to introduce new features for Facebook communities and groups. Noticing the declining trend of community memberships, Facebook aims at facilitating the growth of meaningful communities and participation through a number of ways. Users will now get recommendations on different communities and groups that they can join based on their interests and requirements similarly, group admins will also now be able to filter and accept members based on different factors like age and location to ensure that only those who can benefit or contribute to these communities are added on the same. Communities allow people to engage on common ground and strengthen common understanding building on existing social fabric. Over a 100 million people on the platform feel that this feature allows them to be present on groups that add value to their experience or provides some sort of support. In the summit, Mark Zuckerberg expressed the need to expand the utility of groups beyond private communication with friends and family and use the same to foster a greater community feeling that will also translate to offline interactions.
Facebook communities have in the past encouraged people with a common cause to unite and contribute in greater capacities to build a more connected world. Groups like the “Affected by Addiction Support Group” encourage people going through similar problems, in this case drug and alcohol addiction, to share their stories and support those going through the same. Communities also assist businesses and organizations to directly reach their target audience and potential clients without having to engage with those who aren’t interested. Efforts like this go a long way to bring people closer and foster positive community feelings that are not limited just to the online world.
As an organization, Facebook allows us to establish a two way communication channel with our audience and helps us deliver the message we wish to convey efficiently. Our pages cater to different target groups, and we regularly engage with comments and criticisms which come our way, via these pages. We firmly believe that Facebook can be an extremely beneficial platform, for bringing about social change. Our collaboration with Facebook, #SocialSurfing, is a way to bring this aspect of community change to the youth of the country. Through our workshops, we aim to disseminate knowledge and awareness regarding Facebook’s settings and tools, so as to enable the millenials to use the platform in a socially relevant, yet secure manner. Thus, tools and developments like those introduced by Facebook help us connect with the masses and spread awareness on a number of gender related issues. We heartily welcome this initiative by the social media giant to encourage community interaction, as we strongly feel that this is a key driver in bringing about social change.