Facebook has revealed the date for its 2021 Communities Summit, which will take place on November 4th. The virtual event will bring together moderators from various Facebook groups to exchange thoughts and suggestions, as well as previews of new tools and features.
According to Facebook:
“The Facebook Communities Summit is an opportunity to bring together community builders from around the world so they can connect with one another, hear from our executives about the latest product features and learn from each other’s experiences. This year, FCS will be hosted virtually and we will showcase our latest products that will empower group members and admins to build meaningful and impactful communities and highlight those making a difference across the world.”
Various group features, like the moderator tools, group ad options, new group types, and more, have been introduced during previous Communities Summit events.
Facebook is constantly testing new features for groups, with current tests focusing on sharing posts to different groups and Community Awards to promote positive contributions.
These may receive additional attention at the November event, while Facebook may also look to unveil even more group options to aid in successful management and continue to increase usage of one of the platform's most important interaction options.
Furthermore, Facebook is introducing a new 'Community Awards' program, which will highlight the work that moderators do to establish and sustain their communities.
“The first-ever Facebook Community Awards feature 22 nominees across seven categories, who are doing meaningful work by inspiring others, making an impact and bringing people together across various interests and topics.”
Each of the seven winners will earn $50,000 in addition to Facebook's support in growing their communities.
“To help select the winners, we want to give people a chance to hear their stories and vote for their favorites. Vote for who you find the most inspiring here. Voting is available on mobile devices and is open from October 7 - October 22. Limited to one vote per category per person. Award winners will be announced at the Facebook Communities Summit.”
As previously said, groups remain one of Facebook's most important features, with 1.8 billion active users. As such, Facebook must do everything possible to preserve group engagement and encourage individuals to return more frequently.
In fact, groups have become even more essential in recent years, as people have moved away from public sharing and the resulting backlash in favor of more private conversation among more sympathetic, like-minded communities.
While the COVID situation has increased group activity, it has also raised concerns about filter bubbles and even radicalization for some. For many others, however, Facebook groups are an essential social connector on many levels.