CANNES, France—Facebook’s experience on the beach at Cannes this year was a joyous ode to creativity. You could learn the art of pin- and printmaking, attend Story School to up your Instagram game or watch an immersive video about the history of human storytelling.
The hands-on theme of creativity deviated just once: Privacy Stations.
Anyone who entered Facebook’s beach could use the stations to check their privacy settings and ad preferences, and the social giant said it will incorporate the stations into its future activations.
“People have told us they want more information about the things they see on Facebook, so we wanted to provide the opportunity to anyone visiting our space in Cannes to do a privacy checkup or review their ad preferences using these stations as a guide to do so,” a spokesperson said. “It’s been well received and we’ll continue using these stations at our events in the future.”
Next door to the checkups, the Community Garden invited visitors to share ideas on how to use tech for good; the interactive art sections of the beach installation also allowed Cannes-goers to work together to make something or learn new skills.
It makes sense that Facebook’s overall mission at Cannes was to “celebrate the best ideas that bring us together,” according to Julie Hogan, director of face-to-face marketing at Facebook.
“Our strategy and presence has been consistent with the last few years, focusing on celebrating and supporting the creative community,” she said. “Great advertising has always brought people together, creating meaningful moments and, in many cases, becoming part of our culture and communities.”
As Facebook’s role in our culture changes, so has its presence at Cannes. The privacy stations, amidst opportunities to play and relax, is a perfect metaphor for Facebook in 2018.
Take a look below to see what Facebook Beach was like, and check out the crown jewel of the social platform’s activation: a custom installation from Es Devlin for Instagram, celebrating the role of “stories.”