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REPORT: THE POWER OF VIRTUAL COMMUNITIES: CASE STUDIES


What is it?

During 2020, the Governance Lab interviewed leaders of 50 Facebook groups and 26 global academic and industry experts for this study of the governance and leadership of Facebook groups.

Who is it for?

This report is for anyone looking to understand the the impact of virtual communities.

What can it do?

Executive Summary

  • Online groups are significant contemporary organizations that can generate impact, and provide their members with a strong sense of community and belonging, despite not operating in physical space.
  • 1.8 billion people use Facebook Groups every month, and more than half of all the people using Facebook are members of five or more active groups. There are 70 million people active in the past month leading these groups as admins and moderators.
  • This report seeks to open a conversation about the role and impact of online groups and the factors that make some of them successful communities. It draws on interviews with 50 leaders of Facebook Groups in 17 countries and with 26 global experts in online community building, along with a literature review, internal Facebook research, and a parallel YouGov survey of 15,000 Internet users in 15 countries.
  • A growing number of people around the world are finding meaning and a sense of belonging in online groups. According to the YouGov survey, in 11 out of 15






Governance Lab. (2021). The power of virtual communities: Case studies. Retrieved from
https://virtual-communities.thegovlab.org/