Henry Moulton

Facebook's Events, Product Feedback

November 26, 2015

Note: I originally wrote a draft in 2015 of this post on Medium. I planned on making some app designs of the supposedly upcoming Facebook Events App (With 450M Users, Facebook Events Is Primed For A Standalone App - Techcrunch 2015)

I never ended up doing it, but Facebook launched their app in October 2016 on the US App Store.

Seems like Events still isn’t available in the UK App Store as of November 2017.

Here’s the 2015 post:

Hi Facebook,

You’re doing a really great job, I really like your strategy of breaking up your apps on mobile, good job for not listening to the haters and sticking to your guns.

It looks like Messenger has a great future with M, in-chat commerce support and a slick web client.

You’ve been doing a great job with photos, and I like how you roll out lots of different apps to test engagement, and even if you mess up sometimes it doesn’t really matter. And I like the idea behind Moments, more on that later.

So while I think you have messaging and photo sharing almost on lock down, I think you now need to turn your attention to Events. And it sounds like you are coming out with an Events app soon, so I thought I’d put together a sort of wish list of features.

Motivation for an Events app

Events are a massive part of sharing. People share their lives on Facebook at events far more than their day-to-day lives of 9–5 work or education. The moments that we share, the locations that we check in, the photos that we take, with the exceptions of cats and babies, I’d make a bet that they happen most often at events. Weddings, concerts, clubs, performances, sport matches, people love organising them, talking about them and taking photos of them, a lot of the time, all through Facebook and your line of apps.

So it really makes sense to have a separate Events app to handle this sort of user activity.

OK here’s the wishlist:

  1. A smarter Calendar
  2. Ticketing
  3. Shared Albums at Events

1) A Smarter Calendar

Your calendar, the thing that I’d like to organise my social life with, isn’t a product. The bizarre thing is you have a calendar that’s hidden away, and it shows nothing.

It might be one of the most neglected Facebook features.

How about this:

Let me specify when I’m busy so you can suggest events to me when I’m free. Better yet, suggest events to me and my friends when a group of us are free.

Once everyone’s imported their Class Schedule, or specified their job hours, then let my friends suggest events that they think I’d be interested in joining.

I don’t think that young people tend to use calendars or organisers that much until they hit their professional lives, so having users use and organise their social lives with Facebook Calendar from a younger age would be a win for you guys.

There’s probably loads of cool stuff you can do down the line once you know my schedule, and you can compete with Google Now to give me notifications so I can be smarter about my day.

The on-boarding would be a little tricky here since no one likes settings up their calendar or schedule, and planning around holiday time would be a little different. I think on Monday’s a notification double checking that your calendar is displaying your schedule for the week correctly would be smart, and maybe having some quick options like “I’m on holiday” or “I’m having a super busy week, no time for events”, that will clear your schedule or block off event suggestions for the week.

In addition, I really love Fantastical’s parsing of text into events really awesome so if you could maybe take that approach: So you’ll ask: What’s your schedule like: And then the User enters: I have work 9–5pm Monday to Friday, and I have soccer practice on Saturday afternoon and church every Sunday morning.

This would then block out times for work, and would ask to specify when and for how long soccer and church is.

Alternatively, have a little drag and scroll for every day that sets up when they’re busy, perhaps don’t make them specify what they’re doing, as some people are creeped out by giving you all the details of what they’re up to.

And then also have standard CalDAV importing so people in-the-know can export their iCalendar or Google Calendar.

2) Ticketing

Let pages start selling tickets, or for larger events, buy allocations for tickets to sell to Facebook users.

This one has so many tangible benefits.

You can a take a piece of the share of the $X bn ticketing industry, which are mostly pretty bad anyway.

People don’t leave the Facebook site when they click on an event that’s ticketed.

You can let smaller bands and pages sell tickets directly to their fans rather than having to go through a middleman.

You could let a Facebook user order a selection of tickets and put it on hold for their friends, rather than have their friends be late and then have to buy it off a scalper.

You could also have native adverts to buy tickets to events, which you can charge CPC AND take commission off the sale of the event.

You also will get more data on who’s hanging out with who in real life, right now I sort of assume you do that with tagged photos and suggesting friends if we went to the same event, that’s smart but utilising the data of who’s buying tickets together will make it smarter.

3) Shared Albums at Events

Automatically create an album that let’s people collaborate the photos they take together at the event, a sort of smart album.

Thanks for reading! If you have any comments, questions or feedback please get in contact. Have a nice Sunday.

I'm Henry Moulton, a software design and development freelancer living in London, UK.

My portfolio will be online soon.

I'm on Twitter and LinkedIn, and for years I've been collecting bits of the internet I found interesting on Tumblr.

You can also signup to have every post I write sent straight to your inbox: