Did you know that Facebook has a team of software engineers whose job is simply to keep you off of the platform? Noticing that the Events feature of the social media was developing at a much slower pace than others, Aditya Koolwal, product manager for Facebook Events, decided to revamp it and help users organize more real-life events.
According to Facebook’s latest earnings call, she might have done it. CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated that 450 million users are now on Facebook Events, making it officially of “global scale.” And it’s no wonder – why would anyone turn to Evite and Eventbrite for their party organization, when Facebook has already got all your friends in one place and ready to RVSP?
Reports show that Events will be the focus of Facebook’s attention in the coming weeks and months, with a noticeable push toward creating a clearer separation between private and public occasions. Facebook may have a lot of features constantly developing and updating, but as Koolwal puts it, Events is the one thing Facebook can do really well.
Before Koolwal joined the team, this particular feature was just a simple web-invite product focused on helping users organize private events like birthday parties. But after she started looking into what they are actually using it for, Koolwal realized that over 50 percent of users responded to public events more than to private parties – think of music festivals, farmer’s markets, or garage sales.
From that moment on, the team decided to pursue the matter from two separate points of view: private and public, meaning that promoting them will appear in distinct ways. The Events guide launched a few weeks ago is a perfect illustration for that separation in marketing.
Larger header pictures was the first thing Facebook changed, soon to be followed by more context about what the event is about. If the event is a concert, you might be interested in see the artist’s profile; if you’re not familiar with the venue, photos will be made available.
Some users have already noticed that Facebook started experimenting with suggesting popular events nearby on both sides of the main column. It’s no longer a surprise that the company is collecting and using information on you, such as the pages you like, and the posts you comment on.
Facebook is also looking to change the way a user can engage with an event. For now, the only way to express interest is to click “Join”, even though you’re not sure if you’ll actually be attending.
The Events team is currently researching and testing alternate options, like a “Follow” button, which means the user will receive updates for the event, or a “Remind me” link to notify the user when the event is getting closer.
Image Source: Cloud Sherpas