Facebook Launches Events App

Continuing to divide its features into distinct offerings, Facebook unveiled a standalone Events app, on Friday.

“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,” Aditya Koolwal, Product Manager at Facebook, notes in a new blog post.

As part of its flagship app, around 100 million people presently use Facebook’s events feature to share hundreds of millions of goings on, according to internal estimates.

As a separate app, the social giant plans to flesh out the service, and significantly increase usership.

 When users open the new app, they can expect to find events that have caught the attention of “friends,” recently announced events from Pages they have previously “like,” and updates from events with which they have already connected.

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The new app also tries to make it easily for users to browse event recommendations, based on their interests, and a time and location of their choosing.

In the process of planning future travels, people can also use the app to search for events in geographical areas of interest.

Of course, the change may frustrate Facebook users who would rather not have to download multiple apps in order to access features that were previously available on Facebook’s core app.

That was the case when Facebook asked more than 1 billion users to install its messaging service as a separate app, in 2014. At the time, CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted that was a “big ask.”

By any measure, however, the Messenger gamble has paid off. As of this summer, Messenger had surpassed 900 million monthly active users -- up from 800 million in January.

Consumers haven’t swallowed Facebook’s app diversification strategy whole, however. Take the case of Notify -- the Twitter-like app that the company recently decided to shelve.

Notify encouraged users to subscribe to push notifications from various content providers. No small side project, it launched with more than 70 big-name publishers, including Bloomberg, Comedy Central, CNN and The Weather Channel.

Yet, when Notify failed to gain traction with users, Facebook decided to “transition” its assets and publisher partners to Messenger and other existing properties.

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