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 that it was expanding the event to Europe, with an inaugural event taking place in London over the past two days.
Facebook has faced mounting criticism over its growing impact on society, with issues such as fake news and social media’s effect on users’ mental health topping the list of concerns. And CEO Mark Zuckerberg has previously emphasized his appreciation fo the role groups play in making Facebook one of the world’s biggest drivers of online social interactions, so it makes sense that the company has been investing resources to support such groups on the platform.
The Facebook Community Leadership Program is part of the company’s global push to invest in “people building communities,” according to a statement by Jennifer Dulski, head of groups and community, and Ime Archibong, vice president of product partnerships.
“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. The company said that up to five recipients 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.”
Other facets of the program include extending Facebook’s community leadership circles pilot around the world and expanding the company’s Groups for Facebook Power Admins so more users can collaborate.
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 at the top of their group page, and a rules section where members can go to learn what they can and can’t do as part of the group.