Some users are seeing a “Suggested Events” feature that recommends events based on pages they like and places they’ve been, as first reported by TechCrunch. This replaces and expands upon the “Friends’ Events” section that listed events to which others had RSVP’d.[Update 12/23/11 10:45 a.m. PST: We have learned Suggested Events also includes recommendations based on artists users have listened to.]
Suggested Events is an example of how Facebook can leverage data beyond the social graph, connecting users to things based on interest and location as well. As users like more pages, add location to their photos and status updates and use new Open Graph applications, the social network can provide more interesting and relevant recommendations for events and other items.
For example, in the past users might have been shown an event listing for a concert that their friend is attending. Now with Suggested Events, users might be shown upcoming concerts at venues they’ve checked into or from bands whose pages they like. In the future, Facebook could display events based on artists people have listened to on Spotify or other Open Graph apps. [Update 12/23/11 10:45 a.m. PST: Facebook has confirmed this is already happening.] This will help users discover things to do and help event promoters reach potential attendees.
The problem with Suggested Events in its current iteration is that users are unlikely to find it on their own. As a submenu item under the main Events tab, it could be just as invisible as the “Other” folder within Messages that many users are unaware of. Suggested Events, however, could be something Facebook occasionally decides to display on the right hand side of the page to let people know it exists. This space has previously shown users their unread updates and prompted people to take actions such as adding location to photo albums.
We’ve seen the social network making other changes to Events in the past two months to make the product more relevant to users. This includes changing language to make events seem less formal and possibly adding the ability to create events from the publisher. Unlike Messages and Photos, Events is not something most people use daily. These latest improvements could lead to more regular use.