Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had a lot of products to announce as he kicked off this year’s F8, the conference for developers and other entrepreneurs who use Facebook in their products, but he first wanted to talk about relationships.
“For the past decade, Facebook has focused on friends and family,” Zuckerberg said. “Our next focus is building community.”
Zuckerberg bemoaned what he described as a decline in community group participation in the past several decades, and vowed to use Facebook to try to build those local relationships in the digital sphere.
“We live in a time when society is divided,” Zuckerberg said — his only real reference to the United States’ current political dynamic. He said he often hears about an economic divide, but he believes part of the solution to a less fractured nation has to do with social.
The message was devoid of specifics, but harkened back to the 6,000-word note he published in mid-February and titled “Building Global Community.”
The first sentence of that letter asked whether we’re building “the world we want.” Zuckerberg then laid out ideas for the world he’d like to see: A digital one that was “supportive,” “safe,” “informed,” “civically-engaged,” and “inclusive.”
And although that letter, too, was light on specifics, Zuckerberg’s said Facebook could play the role of developing social infrastructure. Who knows what exactly that means, but Zuckerberg’s brief message at this year’s F8 makes it seem like he’s thinking local.