Facebook introduces new feature that makes searching for nearby events easier

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Extroverts Rejoice! Now Facebook Finds You Parties.

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 is coming up with a new Events feature that will provide an easy answer to your question ‘Where is the party tonight?’ Its Events section will let users to search events by location, category and date.On Saturday, social network Facebook announced the release of a major update to its Events feature for iOS, giving the users the ability to search for events happening in their area with increased precision.

Facebook will also be your advisor on where to go and with whom you can hang out with, On Saturday, this exciting feature that has remained uncovered in the age of apps will be launched in iOS. 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. For a rarely used feature at first, Facebook Events quickly became the most powerful tool in party invitations, and it is now taking an omniscient view of the landscape.

According to Facebook, the updated Events feature essentially enables users to browse a number of different event genres, including sports & fitness, music, and nightlife, among others. 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. Facebook dropped a little snippet about the new Star Wars movie into its statement today, too, saying that more than 2 million people have been invited to Star Wars events in December.

And that’s more than can be said about popular apps that have traditionally been more focused on what’s going on in the community,” wrote Wired’s Molly McHugh. “I recently spent a Saturday morning looking through Yelp to see what was happening around me to no avail. If Facebook can unlock that, and also encourage my friends to go, it will have an easy advantage.” Other companies such as Eventbrite and Foursquare have launched apps using similar business models, but they never took off. 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. Combined with its personal data on what and who we care about, it’s the best at matching people to parties,” writes Tech Cruch’s Josh Constine. “Now, Facebook is waking up to this opportunity.” While Facebook’s new feature will encourage users to spend time with other people, in person, at real locations, rather than online where the site earns money, a revamped Events section might bring even more users to the site. “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,” argues Constine. There’s even a section of pre-selected events that Facebook creates based on all the information it has about you — which is kind of creepy, but also cool.

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. 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.

If an event app is going to do it right, it should be a combination of Eventbrite, Yelp, and for social purposes, Facebook—which is a lot of different things to be. 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. Right now it’s showing me tons of smarmy, generic club nights where professional promoters spam all their friends with invites but few people actually want to go.

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