October 7, 2016 – Facebook is reshaping the way its users discover events near them. Introducing: Events from Facebook, a standalone mobile application designed to help mobile users find and engage with events through new functions and integrations. The new application will help to bring events to the forefront of how users engage with one another on Facebook.
The Facebook Events app allows users to:
- Find new events that friends are interested in, see newly created events from the Pages they follow, and receive alerts from events they have engaged with
- Browse event recommendations based on time, location, and interests
- Explore events nearby using an interactive map
- Search for events in other cities to plan for vacations and visits
- Keep track of all upcoming events in the calendar, and integrate other calendars from the users’ phones
Events isn’t Facebook’s first foray into developing standalone mobile applications. Messenger (originally released in August 2011) and Paper (released in January 2014) each saw mixed results in the app store. While Messenger quickly became a popular standalone app after it was removed from the main Facebook application in March 2014, Paper failed to gain the same traction and was officially removed from the app store in July 2016. The announcement of Events also comes just a few days after Facebook’s newest in-app technology, Marketplace.
The placement and development of these technologies reveals Facebook’s interest in creating products that are beneficial to, and offer a positive experience for, Facebook’s 1.7 billion registered users. While Marketplace was deemed most likely to succeed by taking a key position in the parent application, Events (and Messenger before it) offer Facebook the opportunity to consume more real estate within mobile devices as a way of connecting friends.
Events is available now in the App Store for iPhone users in the U.S., and is coming soon to Android.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR MARKETERS
For brands with a local presence, the Events app increases the chances Facebook users will discover posted events based on their Facebook friends. This discoverability, intended to mostly benefit users, is what drew marketers to social media in the first place. For companies that regularly host special events or promotions, uploading these as events to Facebook may help to increase awareness, interest, and foot traffic.
While the idea of working within another walled-garden application may intimidate advertisers and marketers, the Events application has the potential to enrich Facebook’s knowledge of its users and, in turn, offer that information within its advertising manager. Events may also help to strengthen Facebook’s offline conversion attribution technology. For brands, gauging interest in events by noting the total number of users that indicate they are “going” provides some value, but ultimately it’s about the number of people that actually attend. Being able to measure and attribute the number of Facebook users or Event app users that actually attend an event is more valuable.
PHOTO & INFORMATION SOURCE:Facebook