Facebook Events gets simplified on iOS update
Extroverts Rejoice! Now Facebook Finds You Parties.
Now it will. Facebook events are one of the more maligned parts of the nearly ubiquitous social media platform — invitations to them come often, sometimes seemingly out of nowhere, and they have a tendency to bombard users with notifications.Facebook invitations can be a great way for you to keep up with what’s going on in your area, and we might as well admit it – it’s cool to get an invite to something fun.Menlo Park, California – Facebook Inc (Nasdaq: FB) updated its iOS app and now users can find events in 10 major cities by topics such as music, nightlife, food or drinks, community, film and photography, performing arts and sports and fitness.In addition, there’s a new “Suggested for You” section that algorithmically plans your dream night – or at least a pub crawl with dozens of drunk locals – based on the data Facebook has about you.
While Facebook has let you search for nearby events in the past, the app now presents them in a much cleaner manner, and also affords more granular control. The company, which has 1.55 billion monthly active users, wrote to the SocialTimes that more and more people are joining and creating events from their mobile phones and the update will help them easily browse and filter for specific events at any given time. “If there’s a very popular event going on near you, we’ll send you a notification. You shop something on a website and the next thing you know is that Facebook is suggesting something for you just on the grounds of what you have bought. First, rather than suggesting Events on random dates, you can now specify if you’re looking for something to do today, tomorrow, this weekend, or next week. People who were not friends before, they attend an event, and they start a relationship on Facebook; that’s something we’re tracking pretty closely,” said Aditya Koolwal, a product manager at Facebook.
But the new update, which introduces Events Discovery, makes things much simpler and cleaner, though its reach is only limited at this point in the game. According to the company, the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens that was released on December 14th, was related to nearly 35,000 Facebook events that compiled more than 2 million invitees and about 660,000 of them will attend the events. In order to help users from the United States, the Events feature is already available in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Dallas, Seattle, Miami, Houston and Washington, D.C. If you’ve got for a feeling for what you’re up for, whether it’s a concert, pub crawl, gallery opening, or wine & cheese, Facebook can recommend where to go.
Facebook isn’t necessarily doing that here, and there’s no way to search for events on a map, but its massive user base and popularity on mobile — regardless of how many apps it releases — will give the company a huge advantage should it decide to take an even bigger bite out of the events business. You had to look through a dozen of them to find what you were actually looking for, Now Facebook goes an extra mile to ensure that you get what you want and you get it fast.
The social signals we have, the friends who are interested in going, the friends you can potentially go with – that’s our bread and butter – so we’re going to try and take advantage of that as much as we possibly can as we roll out more discovery features,” Koolwal said. You’ve probably seen more public events in your feed, and possibly noticed an uptick in notifications about private parties your friends have invited you to. There is a lot you can do actually, rather than sit home and get bored with your regular Sitcom repeating itself for the umpteenth time on television.
In other words, you’ll have more control to find events you want to go to, rather than focusing on whether to accept or decline the invite you’ve been sent. Really, it’s starting to feel like Events could be its own app: browsing, invited, bookmarking, RSVPing, scheduling, calendaring, buying and using tickets, checking in.
Songkick’s comprehensive concert calendar, alerts, and its willingness to show gigs it doesn’t sell tickets for makes it the prime place to find music. For example, if you pick Food and Drinks you might see the event and under it there might be a notification stating ‘Jill and 13 other friends are going’. DoStuff has representatives in all the major U.S. cities culling through the endless crappy club night listings to suggest the best stuff…to do, regardless of category. They’ll have two options to do that: either they tap on “transportation from the…” menu or on the address shared by a friend on the app by selecting “request ride.” Moreover, a friend will receive a notification when the other requests a ride from that thread (the same applies to group chats).
The company announced they will release a new feature that will allow users share live video and collages to make them feel closer to their friends and family. Paper and Moments were standalone apps that could have easily just been woven into the Facebook fabric, but instead the company pushed those services into their own apps, a strategy that it seemed like Facebook would continue using. Except that it hasn’t: The social network recently launched live videos for all users, formerly the main feature of its standalone Mentions app, and killed Creative Labs, home for app experimentation, along with Slingshot, Riff, and Rooms. Here are a few ways it’s recently revamped Events, which had a staggering 450 million active users as of July: Why does Facebook care about upgrading Events? At the same time as shuttering all this, Facebook launched the Notify app, and its Groups app is soldiering on. “For Facebook to want to build a standalone app, it typically either wants to stifle potential competitors or test new ways of interacting with users,” says Digital Clarity Group analyst Alan Pelz-Sharpe.
Basically, he says, Facebook doesn’t even have to do something well, it can launch an app and based on its name recognition, kill the competition, grab a new audience’s attention, and gather data for itself. Later, the company can do whatever it wants with that app—kill it or keep it—and still have all that new user data it can fold into its massive social platform. “A good example [is] getting teens engaged again with Facebook, and it’s doing this successfully via Instagram,” says Pelz-Sharpe. “Over time, those users will hopefully be reintroduced back into the core Facebook family.” Events is also doing fine all on its own, and lately the usability has gotten significantly better. Right now, the mobile Events tab lets you toggle between upcoming events, invitations, events you’ve bookmarked, those you’re hosting, and those you’ve already gone to. One thing Facebook could improve would be understanding the difference between low and high quality events by comparing the invite count to how many people RSVP’d. If Facebook plays these little mobile Event cards right, it could lock more users into its platform where it shows ads, become the best place to host the content people generate at Events, and even make money directly through sponsored Event suggestions.
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