Looking for a party? Facebook can find one for you.
Extroverts Rejoice! Now Facebook Finds You Parties.
After renovating its Events section, Facebook will give users suggestions about where to go and whom to hang out with. 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, Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has brought a major improvement to the events feature, allowing the user to specify the date if they are looking to party or attend an event. This new tool, which is available on iOS in 10 cities, is, in essence, a way of finding things for you to do with people who are already — or perhaps will become — your friends. 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.
Their latest effort has been increasing the video content and giving it a push with some of their new features such as click for more text below every video, along with live video broadcasts and many such features. 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. Users can browse events in 10 major cities, and sift through them using categories like “nightlife,” or “sports and fitness,” or “music.” Users will also be able search for events in other locations, too, which sort of flips how Facebook events really work when you think about it; instead of accepting an invite to an event and planning your day around it, now it will be easier to find something happening wherever (and whenever) you want to go. The company has now introduced a new feature, which focuses more on the audio aspect of things, as users can now share music with a greater ease, as well as scroll through their feed while the listen to audio with the newly introduced listen and scroll feature.
Below that, you’ll find categorized suggestions with sections including Music, Food & Drinks, Nightlife, Sports & Fitness, Fine Arts & Crafts, Community, Film & Photography, Performing Arts, and Causes. 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.
Everything we like, the place we live or the one where we were born, what school we went to, who our friends are and who we just broke up with are on display for everyone to see. 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. In the iOS update, users will now have more control over searching events, instead of the focus on the accept or decline request that you’ve been sent. 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.
And while many people somehow see this as an invasion of privacy, Facebook does use our personal information to somehow give us what we need and provide us the answer to many questions. Different apps focused on different things which made them one-sided and not terribly useful — some focused solely on selling tickets, which became selling tickets to one’s own events. For an in-depth reading on the same, click HERE “Listen and Scroll functionality aims to make it easier for people to discover and listen to more music from leading music services. But after Aditya Koolwal joined the company as the product manager for Facebook’s Event team, she realized that more than 50 percent of people used Events for public events, rather than private parties. “We realized that we hadn’t really built a product that was for public events,” Koolwal told Engaget in August. “So we decided that we’re going to really pursue private parties and public events as two separate paths.”
WIRED reports that there are actually several good reasons not to handle things this way, but perhaps the most compelling is simply that an Events app alone is not enough. 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. 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. 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. Facebook said the two companies want to facilitate transportation arrangements for friends who are texting to each other without having to leave Messenger. 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).
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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Big changes are coming to Facebook Events