Ever since its launch in 2004, Facebook has pulled out all the stops to ensure that users spend the majority of their time on the internet (but more specifically, on Facebook). The social networking service that once began as a way to simply connect with friends and family all over the world has evolved to a platform that users are utilizing for all aspects of their life. While Facebook has already dominated over 1.7 billion users’ social media lives, the company is now striving to infiltrate their users’ offline lives as well.
Facebook recently declared their decision to spin off Events into an individual app (fret not, they are making sure not to enforce this like they did with Messenger). Picture this: it’s a Friday night and you and your friends are hyped and ready to spend a long night out having fun. There’s only one problem: you’ve been in college for two years and you’re running out of things to do other than attend a basement frat party. Facebook wants to help you help yourself by collating a list of local events, displaying what your other friends are doing and where they are going. This essentially helps you save an hour of going back and forth and deciding what you want to do.
Some might find it a little invasive for the company to dictate your life outside of the internet, but at this point, the line separating your real life from your internet life is blurred. I find this update rather interesting and useful. As someone who is often made responsible for planning family trips and identifying must-see spots, this update allows me to find events in cities I’ve never been to before a lot easier than looking up the top 10 sightseeing destinations on TripAdvisor. More often than not, Facebook is likely to display more out-of-the-box ideas than the standard, touristy options. Furthermore, after said trip, I can rate all the places I’ve been to and recommend events that I think are on the must-do list, making it easier for a friend to plan out their trip after me.
It’s ironic how a social media app is enthusiastically promoting the idea of spending time outside of the internet. It reminds me of Amazon’s decision to open brick-and-mortar bookstores. Facebook is understanding the needs and desires of their users outside of the app, and is maximizing their utility by making these wants as accessible as possible. All Facebook haters might have to reevaluate their stance on the app after it makes these updates on a grand scale.