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Facebook, Inc. Nears 2 Billion Users

By Daniel Sparks - Jun 22, 2017 at 7:46PM

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As Facebook's reach continues to expand, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has a new, bolder mission for the company.

Facebook (FB 1.41%) is "very close" to hitting 2 billion monthly active users, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said this week, according to Bloomberg. Nearing such a significant milestone, Facebook's dominance as the world's largest social network is as evident as ever.

As Facebook's global reach continues to expand, Zuckerberg shared an important update on the company's vision -- an update that involved revamping the company's mission statement.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reveals the social network's new mission statement.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reveals the social network's new mission statement. Image source: Facebook.

Facebook's new mission

Originally setting out to connect the world, Facebook now wants to focus on reducing global division. "It's not enough to simply connect the world; we must also work to bring the world closer together," Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post on Thursday.

To complement Facebook's new emphasis, Zuckerberg shared the company's official new mission statement: "[G]ive people the power to build community and bring the world closer together." The new mission, Zuckerberg said, reflects that Facebook can't accomplish this on its own, but must rely on empowering its users to build community.

Along with the updated mission for the company, Facebook announced some new features aimed at making things easier for Facebook Group administrators. New features include real-time metrics about group growth, engagement, and membership request filtering, tools to help remove "bad actors," scheduled posting, and group-to-group linking.

The company first started detailing its new emphasis on building community and bringing people closer together in its first-quarter earnings call, when Zuckerberg said Facebook's goal is to help "more than a billion people join meaningful groups to strengthen our social fabric over the next few years."

Unrivaled dominance

With Facebook's user base as significant as it is, it makes sense that the company is finding itself in a position in which it needs to rethink its mission. In its first quarter, Facebook's monthly active users hit 1.94 billion, up from 1.86 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016. The social network will likely hit the impressive milestone of 2 billion before its second quarter ends.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg presents a 10-year plan at the F8 conference in 2016.

Zuckerberg presents a 10-year plan at the F8 conference in 2016. Image source: Facebook.

And the company's reach doesn't stop at Facebook. Not only is its namesake Facebook the world's largest social network, but the company boasts four of the top seven social networks. The three largest social networks -- Facebook, WhatsApp, and Messenger -- all belong to Facebook.

With such an enormous user base, Zuckerberg is compelled to take on bigger issues. And the company's latest mission statement attempts to live up to this expanded role.

In his post on Thursday, Zuckerberg put this bigger vision for Facebook's place in the world into context:

In the next generation, our greatest opportunities and challenges we can only take on together -- ending poverty, curing diseases, stopping climate change, spreading freedom and tolerance, stopping violence.

But Zuckerberg admitted that "No single group or even nation" can address these issues alone. That's why Facebook is turning its emphasis to building meaningful communities:

This is our challenge. ... And if enough of us work to build community and bring people together, then we just might change the world.

While it may be easy to dismiss such a daring vision, Facebook's nearly two billion monthly active users -- not including users of its other social networks -- give credibility to the company's audaciousness.

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