Facebook took the stage at its annual Facebook Communities Summit Europe to announce a new Facebook Community Leadership Program and to introduce new tools for group admins, as well as the expansion of its London-based engineering team. The new program is a grants initiative, which Facebook has pledged to donate tens of millions of dollars to. As much as $10 million of that will go directly to people who build up and maintain communities across the suite of Facebook apps and websites. Specifically, as many as five leaders will be chosen to be community leaders in residence, with awards of up to $1 million each for funding their proposals. Meanwhile, up to 100 will be selected for the fellowship portion of the program and receive up to $50,000 each toward specific community initiatives. The gathering included more than 300 community leaders from across Europe, including several that Facebook showed videos of to highlight the work they're doing in their respective communities. More information about the new program, in addition to applications for those two segments, can be found via the link below.
In conjunction with the new program, Facebook is also introducing Community Leadership Circles, which it piloted in the U.S. in 2017. That will be expanding globally over the course of the year. That's in addition to the introduction of Groups for Facebook Power Admins which currently includes more than 10,000 group admins in the U.S. and U.K. but which now also is being expanded. Members of the groups effectively meet up to share advice and connect with Facebook's own team in order to provide feedback for features undergoing testing. Alongside that latter expansion, Facebook has introduced several new tools for Group admins and members. Among those are new Admin tools, which also include the introduction of a dedicated rules section in order to help admins more plainly provide rules for a given group. The primary new features, however, is the introduction of a single, comprehensive section for group management – including management of member requests, group insights, and more. Group announcements can also be made more readily via a dedicated tool that allows for up to 10 announcements to be made that will appear at the top of a given group. Finally, admins will now be able to personalize their group with a splash of color which will show throughout each section of a given group.
Last but not least, Facebook announced that it will be doubling the size of its London engineers team by the year's end, which Facebook says is responsible for building out technologies that keep Facebook communities safe and secure. Specifically, the team is responsible for both detection and removal of fake accounts, as well as improving the ways users of the site have to report bad content or fake accounts. Of course, the company has its own A.I. for taking care of some of the problems but those tools, it says, need to be in place to augment, improve, and supplement those processes. That's also the team that prevents and addresses harassment, scams, and threats on the platform via the build-out of automated and reporting tools.