Culture

Mark Zuckerberg wants you to meet people in the ‘real world’

By Oliver Smith 23 June 2017
Summary

It's time to use Facebook less.

The average person is a member of 30 Facebook groups.

Alumni networks, groups for sharing cute puppy pics, yet the vast vast majority of these groups will never meet in-person.

It’s pretty anti-social.

Social networking

CEO Mark Zuckerberg says there are actually 100m of us in “meaningful” groups – but this is still only 5% of Facebook’s 2 billion users.

These “don’t just interact online. They hold get-togethers, organize dinners, and support each other in their daily lives,” he says.

Communities that meet up are often centered around churches, schools, unions, or support groups for illnesses or even new parents.

“Online communities strengthen physical communities by helping people come together online as well as offline, even across great distances,” said Zuckerberg.

Time to go offline

But right now few of us are part of these meaningful groups, and that’s something Facebook wants to change.

Zuck says he’s been working on a new artificial intelligence to recommend more meaningful groups to people, ones that might lead to real world meet-ups.

“In the first 6 months, we helped 50% more people join meaningful communities. And there’s a lot more to do here.”

His goal is to get half of Facebook’s users, a billion people, in meaningful groups.

“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.”

It’s a bold goal, but the CEO of Facebook wants you to spend a lot less time on Facebook.