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Noah Berger / AP

The purpose of the "Community Boost" program is to help provide more people with the digital skills they need to compete in the modern economy.

Why it matters: The investment in small businesses is part of broader push in communities across the board since Mark Zuckerberg released a new mission for the company earlier this year to build a more global community.

Details of the program:

  • The Facebook Community Boost team will visit up to 30 US cities, including, St. Louis, Albuquerque, Des Moines, Greenville, and Houston, in 2018.
  • Facebook employees will help small businesses establish online profiles on mobile, beginning with Facebook properties: Facebook, Instagram and Messenger/WhatsApp.
  • It will train people on digital skills, which will eventually include better video and photo-taking skills, as well as other programming.

Facebook has made a concerted effort to help small businesses: Since 2011 Facebook says it has invested more than $1 billion dollars on teams, technology, tools, support and research to help small businesses. Here's why:

  • Businesses have indicated to Facebook that they want more digital training more than anything, according to Facebook VP of Small Business Dan Levy. "For years, if a business owner wanted to create a video commercial, it would cost tens of thousands of dollars," says Levy. Small businesses have indicated that they've been intimidated to create videos. We want to help them with that." Today, more than 4 million small businesses on Facebook create videos.
  • Small businesses are also an important part of Facebook and Instagram's growing advertising community: Facebook says it's main app has roughly 6 million advertisers and Instagram has over 2 million. The company has touted its success in getting small and medium-sized businesses to advertise on its platform with easy-to-use self-service advertising tools.
  • Facebook has been investing in small business training for years, but they are ramping up digital literacy resources now given how quickly the landscape is changing. For example, more than 1 million small businesses have taken advantage of Facebook's free online learning hub, Blueprint and more than 70 million small businesses use Facebook Pages each month. The company says it recently created a digital marketing curriculum that will help train 3,000 Michiganders in digital skills development over the next two years.

Go deeper

55 mins ago - Technology

Facebook: Metaverse won't "move fast and break things"

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Facebook on Monday said it will invest $50 million over two years in global research and program partners to ensure its metaverse products "are developed responsibly."

Why it matters: "It's almost the opposite of that now long-abandoned slogan of 'move fast and break things,'" Facebook's VP of global affairs Nick Clegg told Axios in an interview at The Atlantic Festival Monday.

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

Facebook presses "pause" on Instagram Kids

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Facebook's announcement Monday that it was "pausing development" on Instagram Kids did little to slow a wave of criticism of the project ahead of a Senate hearing Thursday.

Yes, but: There's an argument to be made for building kids' versions of popular apps, even if their adult versions are causing real-world harms.

Ford's big plans to turbocharge the electric car industry in the U.S.

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Ford Motor Company’s new $11 billion manufacturing plan, the biggest component of which will sit just outside Memphis, is part of a much bigger effort to put the U.S. at the center of the electric vehicle revolution, executive chairman Bill Ford says.

The big picture: Ford’s plans — for enormous facilities in both Tennessee and Kentucky, employing a combined 11,000 workers — are ambitious manufacturing efforts designed to minimize their environmental impact.