Facebook Launch Dedicated Events App

For many of us, the events function is the only thing that's keeping Facebook relevant. On the one hand, it's remarkably easy to organise and co-ordinate your own private social events, and it's the only service which brings information about upcoming gigs and other large scale events directly to you, rather than you having to seek them out yourself.

That in mind, a dedicated app for browsing nearby events makes a lot of sense. Facebook Events launched on iOS in the US at the end of last week, with a broader release set to come in the next few weeks. It's made up of 4 tabs - Home, which is just a feed of all your friends' event activity, a search function which shows you nearby events using the map tool, as well as being able to find things through the search bar, a calendar showing everything you've got coming up and finally a stripped down version of your profile.

You can also see any events announced by pages you follow, as you would on your normal Facebook feed, so all told it basically operates like a more slick, slightly more sophisticated version of the standard Facebook events function. The biggest advantage of this is that you don't have to angle around 500 cat photos and 'tag a mate who drinks milk from the carton' to find that gig that caught your eye earlier.

The interactive map is also a useful feature, especially if you're living in a new city and want to get a sense of the kinds of things going on around you. The calendar also allows you to sync dates from other calendars, so the app always knows when you're available and when you aren't.

Facebook have been putting much more effort into Events over the past few years. It first emerged in 2005, floundered until about 2011, when local area information was added and then overhauled in 2014. Last year 450 million users were taking advantage of Events, and talk of a standalone app was already starting to pick up some volume.

Regular readers might have noticed that I'm not exactly in the Facebook fan club, but the Events function has always been its saving grace, for me. Firstly, it encourages people to get outside, secondly, it's great for organising demonstrations and getting young people more politically involved and thirdly it's a better resource for promoting nights and other events than any flyer. This is well worth a download.

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