During a speech in Chicago, Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg claimed that he wanted Facebook to replace Churches. Instead of being part of a community through the Church, you can be a part of a community on a Facebook group.
“It’s so striking that for decades, membership in all kinds of groups has declined as much as one-quarter. That’s a lot of of people who now need to find a sense of purpose and support somewhere else. People who go to church are more likely to volunteer and give to charity — not just because they’re religious, but because they’re part of a community,” said Zuckerberg.
“A church doesn’t just come together. It has a pastor who cares for the well-being of their congregation, makes sure they have food and shelter. A little league team has a coach who motivates the kids and helps them hit better. Leaders set the culture, inspire us, give us a safety net, and look out for us,” said Zuckerberg.
He went on to explain how just like Church, Facebook groups also help people join communities. “We started a project to see if we could get better at suggesting groups that will be meaningful to you. We started building artificial intelligence to do this. And it works. In the first 6 months, we helped 50% more people join meaningful communities,” said Zuckerberg.
His plan is to get 1 billion people to join Facebook communities. “If we can do this, it will not only turn around the whole decline in community membership we’ve seen for decades, it will start to strengthen our social fabric and bring the world closer together,” said Zuckerberg.