By Vince Gerasole

(CBS) — Facebook is fast approaching 2 billion users, and the company’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, on Thursday chose Chicago to launch a new mission statement with big goals.

For many, Facebook started out as a place to shared pictures of our kids or pets. But it’s evolved into a forum for political and social discussions. With that, Zuckerberg says, comes greater responsibility.

Zuckerberg was greeted like a digital rock star, addressing a crowd he believes can change the world.

“All of you here today have built some of the strongest communities on Facebook,” he said.

One billion people use Facebook group pages, from the silly to the serious. The page leaders invited to Chicago were the first to hear the company’s new mission statement, which Zuckerberg said is “to give people the power to bring the world closer together.”

His presentation comes amid political division on the platform. Also gaining notice are crimes that have occurred on Facebook livestreams.

Winnetka native Chris Cox is Facebook’s chief product officer, debuting new methods to block problem posters.

“For everything that happens on our platform, if it’s not safe, it can’t be a place people feel comfortable coming together,” Cox said.

Chicago’s Lola Omolola  founded a group with a million members, giving voice to women in abusive situations.

“It’s been really life-changing,” she said.

In contrast, Barbara Parsons’ group and its 18,000 members focus on life’s lighter side. It’s called Carnival Cruisers Decorate Your Doors.

“We go on cruises, and we literally decorate the doors to our cabins,” she says.