Facebook’s standalone Events app will make FOMO seem like a TBT.
The new service aims to help users discover activities—from festivals and 5Ks to neighborhood fairs and nightlife. “Whether you’re looking for something to attend this weekend or just wondering what’s happening in your area, Events will help get you there,” product manager Aditya Koolwal wrote in a blog post.
Available now on iOS (and coming soon to Android), the app highlights events in which friends have expressed an interest, and those recently announced by Pages you like. It also features updates from events to which you’re already connected.
First-time users are encouraged to choose categories: theater/dance, parties/nightlife, music, art/film, home/garden, comedy, food/drink, shopping, community, causes, books/literature, games, religion/spirituality, health/wellness, networking, sports/recreation, free, and family-friendly. The app then curates options—viewable via the Home screen—based on those interests (which can be edited at any time).
Skim through recommendations provided as a scrolling list or via an interactive map; or tap the magnifying glass icon to search by date, location, or category. Click on any event to see more details, including recent posts, photos, and discussion, similar to the Facebook app and website. The arrow allows folks to invite specific friends or share an event online; the star indicates your interest in the event.
All actions taken in the app are visible to followers on the social network. “This way, your friends can see what you’re interested in and what events you’ve shared with them, even if they don’t have the app,” Koolwal said.
The app also syncs with your personal calendars, making it easier to quickly see when you’re stuck in work meetings all day, have the kids’ swim meet, or are catching up with friends over drinks. It also lets users track upcoming Facebook-based events and see who else is attending.
Facebook over the summer launched employee-curated “featured events,” allowing users in 10 cities to discover local happenings as chosen by real people. Facebook already suggests events popular in your network, related to your history and location. But those are collected by a computer algorithm and based on your preferences and activity. New “featured” events, however, are hand-picked by a team of humans.