Would you like Facebook to let you know when great events are happening in your area? They will.
This year is set to become pivotal in how we use Facebook Events — and the future looks bright indeed. Many things are afoot that will allow you to know more about what’s going on in your local area, helping to connect event organizers with people looking for something to do.
Gather Community For Your Events
There’s a new option available for Facebook Pages, allowing you to collect subscribers for your events. These subscribers will automatically be invited if you host an event in their area, meaning you don’t have to go out and invite them all manually.
This is perfect for Pages, as previously marketing Events meant you had to post the event to your Page’s timeline and hope that people saw it. Obviously with recent changes to Facebook Edgerank for Pages, not all of the people following a given page were seeing the posts for events.
More Powerful Than Personal Or Group Events
As always, as a Facebook Page Manager you can invite people to events, but only people you are personally friends with. The Page itself is limited and can’t simply invite everyone that “Likes” the page, as that would be beyond spammy. Pages can pay to advertise events, though.
Previously, a hack many Pages used was to also have a group dedicated to their event. By creating a group event, you could invite all the group members in one hit, then let them invite their friends from there.
So this new feature is a brilliant mid-way point, allowing users to specify if they’re interested in Facebook Events each given Page might host, then automatically inviting them when they’re created. It also makes Events hosted by Pages far more powerful than their personal counterparts, and will make it far easier to go viral. Plus, the users stay in control of what they want to see.
Unfortunately, we need to wait for our favorite Facebook Pages to enable this feature before we can subscribe to their events. It also looks as if the feature is limited to Pages in certain areas for now. But the future still looks bright!
Facebook: The New “What’s On?” Directory
Consider the case of a Facebook Page for a local theater group, choir or band. They can now not only tell people their big news updates in their timeline, but when a performance is coming up they can now automatically get that event into their audience’s Facebook calendars (and their Google Calendars, if the user is savvy enough to connect Facebook Events to gCal).
This is best for the audience too, as they know they won’t miss the next performance by their favorite groups if they’re reminded about the event every time they log into Facebook. They’ll also start to turn to Facebook when they want some real-life interaction and want to know what to do on the weekend.
Facebook is basically becoming a personalised events directory. And that’s great! If they also integrate event information with place tips, it will become an excellent travel recommendation engine.
Facebook Events in the Future
A recent interview with Facebook’s Events product manager Aditya Koolwal revealed that Facebook Events will be unveiling many new features in the near future. What’s in the pipeline?
- Inviting non-Facebook users to events: It used to be possible to invite people via email, and now they’re seeing the sense in reviving this option.
- More public event recommendations when you RSVP for an event: You’ll be filling up your calendar with potential gigs in no time.
- Integration of Events and Facebook Messenger: There will be a slightly more personal way to invite someone to an event via messenger. Also, they plan to make it easy to start chats between event hosts and attendees.
- Invitation receipts for private events: Similar to read receipts for Messenger, you do want to know if your guests have seen the invite or if you’re going to need to send them a text.
“If you’ve created a public event, it probably doesn’t matter as much if two people can’t come if you’ve invited, say, 500 other people. But it probably matters more, though, to someone organizing a small, intimate dinner party.” — Aditya Koolwal
- More Events in your Newsfeed: Some public events already appear in your news feed when your friends RSVP for them, but Facebook intend to display more of them, and to showcase the recommended events in your feed too.
- Standalone Events App: This app may or may not come about, but will be incredibly useful if the trend is for users to subscribe to public local events from Pages they follow and recommended events. Essentially, this app would become the ultimate events directory, and a vital travel tool.
How Will You Use Facebook Events?
Do you think these new features will be useful to you, or just annoying? Do you love finding out about local public events? Would you use a standalone Facebook Events app? Tell us your thoughts.
Image Credits: City map via Shutterstock