Today, Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of Facebook’s (“FB”) first-ever Community Leadership Program. This was unveiled at the Communities Summit event in London this week.
The goal is to find people who are using Facebook-owned social media platforms (that is; Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger) to bring people closer together which is in line with the company’s mission statement.
Zuck posted on his Facebook account where he is followed by over 102 million people that they will pick about 5 leaders around the world and give them up to $1 million to fund their ideas on how to strengthen their communities. “We’ll invite 100 leaders to be part of our fellowship program that includes training, mentorship, and up to $50,000 for a specific initiative”, he added.
There is a hypothesis that every Whatsapp User belongs to at least one WhatsApp group – so, empowering these WhatsApp Group Admins as FB agents could contribute to FB’s attempt to curtail the wide-spread misinformation, controversial, harmful and hateful speeches being propagated on their platforms.
Group Admins could initiate campaigns that look to address those touchy subjects, with a focus on impacting people within their own circle, that is, their members. Such initiatives could involve education and re-orientation drives/campaigns and could most likely leverage FB’s Ad platform to gain more reach and top-of-mind-awareness.
Facebook Groups in Nigeria and Africa should have a seat at the table
In Africa, there are over 160 million Facebook subscribers and users in Nigeria are in the top 3 (of countries with the most Facebook subscribers, behind Egypt and Algeria) with an estimated 16,000,000, as at the last count. Although, the number should have gone up by now; assuming a positive growth trajectory. Already, FB has shown a focus on Africa and getting more Africans online via provisioning of Internet-access facilities and lowering data cost through FreeBasics.
Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that if Leaders (sometimes referred to as Group Admins) of popular Facebook-owned groups applied to the Leadership Program, they’ll be given more consideration. Because I believe representation from all around the world where FB is used is crucial to the development of a Global program.
Currently, FB has created a closed meta-group called FB Power Admins. This group would consist of Leaders of the most active groups (as opposed to just groups with a large population) on FB. The goal would be to share advice, connect with the Facebook team (to get help, test new features and give feedback to the team) before a full roll-out.
While this FB Power Admin group has been categorised by country. There is only a link to the United Kingdom (UK) and United States (US) Facebook group, we hope there will be one for Nigeria and other African countries.
In addition, not much has been said about how this would apply to other FB-owned apps like Instagram or Whatsapp.
In summary, “The Facebook Community Leadership Program exists to empower and support leaders from around the world who have built meaningful communities through the Facebook family of apps and services” according to their community site.
How does this apply to you?
You can participate by either applying as a Group Admin or by nominating others on their community site.
Who are they looking for?
“Community leaders across the Facebook family of apps and services with a proven track record of leading communities that have a positive impact, build common ground and foster in-person connections”, [emphasis mine].
What are some of the popular influential FB Groups in Nigeria and Africa?
Nominate them to give us a seat at deciding what happens to the millions of Africans using Facebook.