I asked the topic question here:
The best answer given was:
"It wasn't taken by NASA, it was taken by a group called the Event Horizon Telescope. NASA just published reports about it, like any other scientific organization, they found this fascinating too, but they weren't directly involved.
As for how the picture will help us in the long run, it'll increase the power and resolution of our telescopes, and make it easier to take very long distance pictures of objects without having to build ever more massive telescopes, when we could instead just combine a bunch of smaller scopes together into a virtual array.
It also proves General Relativity right, yet again. Which means that our understanding of physics is on the right track. The more we understand physics, the more we can manipulate it to do things useful to us (i.e. technology)."