Facebook is working to make Facebook Events a more useful what-to-do app.
Today, the company announced an update to its iOS app that gives people in 10 major US cities the ability to browse through Facebook Events in their location. Within the new discovery feature, in the Events dashboard, people will see events sorted by categories such as music, food & drink, nightlife and sports & fitness. They will also be able to switch locations to check out events in other cities.
The catch is that the feature currently can only be seen by people using their iPhones in major cities — New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Dallas, Seattle, Miami, Houston and Washington, DC. But a wider rollout and extension to Android devices is likely considering the increased emphasis Facebook has put on Events in the past few months.
Events are something of a sleeping giant for the company; in July it announced that the service is used by 450 million people monthly but Facebook staffers have acknowledged it needs a lot of work.
Some of those efforts have started to come into focus, including more public events being shown in people’s News Feeds, smarter notifications and surfacing of related events. With so much data about what people do and like, building a stronger Events product is a natural step.
“We have a good sense of how people look for things to do,” Facebook product manager Aditya Koolwal told Wired last month. “The social signals we have, the friends who are interested in going, the friends you can potentially go with—that’s our bread and butter, so we’re going to try and take advantage of that as much as we possibly can as we roll out more discovery features.”
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