Facebook today announced the launch of a new weddings and celebrations feature to make it easier for users to see important events in their friends’ lives and share their congratulations.
When someone changes their Facebook status to engaged or married, it will display to all of their friends in the sidebar next to News Feed. Users can check for birthdays, events, engagements and marriages at the same time. They can then click on the engagement or marriage announcement to write a congratulatory post on the couple’s Timeline. If a user is not already friends with both partners, they can add the other person without being directed to another page. The main benefit to the new feature is that a friend’s big announcement doesn’t get buried in News Feed.
On Wednesday, Facebook updated its event dashboard to include a calendar view for users to see all of their events and friends’ upcoming birthdays. Facebook told TechCrunch that they were holding off adding weddings and celebrations to the calendar. The engagement and wedding announcements are currently limited to the homepage.
The social network often tests new ways to promote activity and help users connect more easily. In 2010, the company introduced a News Feed story for when multiple friends write on a friend’s Wall for their birthday. This helped users remember to send birthday messages to their friends. Last year, Facebook made this even easier with a way for users to write Happy Birthday on a friend’s wall without leaving the homepage.
Also last year, Facebook tested a feature called Big Events, which would update users on a big event happening in their friends’ lives. The module would appear on different pages across the site, not just News Feed, and it prompted users to use Facebook messages rather than Wall posts.
In the future, we might see Facebook expand the weddings and celebrations feature to include when users have a new baby or indicate another important life event on their Timeline.