As part of Facebook’s broader mission to help people have more meaningful social interactions, the company today pledged to give tens of millions of dollars to a new “Facebook community leadership program.”
The initiative was revealed at the Facebook Communities Summit (FCS) in Europe, a Facebook-led event that kicked off in the U.S. last year to help bring group and page admins together under one roof. The company later revealed it was expanding the event to Europe, where the inaugural event has been taking place over the past two days in London.
Facebook has faced mounting criticism over the impact its social network has on society, with issues such as fake news and social media’s effects on users mental health top of the agenda. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has previously emphasized his appreciation of the role that groups play in making Facebook one of the world’s biggest drivers of social interactions online, so it makes sense that the company has been investing more resources in encouraging organic social groups on the platform.
The Facebook Community Leadership Program isn’t just a European affair, however. It will constitute part of a global push by the company to invest in “people building communities,” said Jennifer Dulski, head of groups and community, and Ime Archibong, vice president, of product partnerships, in a statement.
“Community leaders often tell us that with additional support they could have more impact,” the statement reads. “The Facebook Community Leadership Program is designed to empower leaders from around the world who are building communities through the Facebook family of apps and services.”
The company’s multi-million dollar commitment will include “up to” $10 million in grants that “will go directly to people creating and leading communities,” and will include training, support and funding for community leaders globally. Indeed, the company said that up to five leaders will be chosen as “community leaders in residence” and given up to $1 million to fund their ideas, with applications open now. A further 100 leaders will receive up to $50,000 each for a “specific community initiative.”
Additionally, Facebook announced a slew of new tools for group admins, including a group announcements feature that allows them to post up to 10 announcements to the top of their group page, and a rules section where members can go specifically learn what they can and can’t do as part of the group.