Facebook, Instagram Mark Virtual Graduation Week With Features, Special Programming

As previously revealed, a multihour livestreaming event is set for Friday, May 15

Anyone can reshare Instagram's graduation sticker from the @instagram account Instagram
Headshot of David Cohen

Facebook and Instagram added several updates on and features related to multihour livestreaming event #Graduation2020: Facebook and Instagram Celebrate the Class of 2020 Friday, May 15, at 11 a.m. PT/2 p.m. ET.

The social network said late last month that Oprah Winfrey will deliver the commencement address. Celebrities including Awkwafina, Simone Biles, Jennifer Garner and Lil Nas X will also speak, and Miley Cyrus will perform hit song “The Climb.”

Facebook debuted a virtual graduation hub Monday, classof2020.fb.com, along with several features to help people celebrate graduates, such as by hosting their own virtual ceremonies via Facebook Live, and guides to using all of those features.

The caps and gowns are coming out, virtually, as the social network introduced augmented reality graduation speech and cap filters with customizable tassels for Facebook, along with cap and graduation walk stickers for Facebook Stories and profile frames in a variety of school colors.

Facebook
Facebook
Facebook
Facebook

Messenger From Facebook is getting a graduation-themed video chat filter featuring a graduation cap experience in styles ranging from traditional to disco.

And Instagram will roll out custom college-themed cap and gown AR effects in the effects gallery for Stories.

Instagram

In the coming weeks, Facebook will roll out a version of its Community Help feature for college students and seniors in high school in the U.S., where students, teachers and alumni can offer and request assistance in their college communities in areas including career help, housing, moral support, fitness and supplies.

Facebook

Following is the schedule for virtual graduation week programming on Facebook and Instagram:

Monday, May 11:

  • Graduation Countdown Sticker: Instagram will debut a graduation sticker for Stories to celebrate Friday’s ceremony, and anyone can reshare the sticker from the @instagram account.
Instagram
Instagram
Instagram
  • Graduation Challenges: Instagram will kick off a series of graduation challenges including the throwback #GradPhotoChallenge and #MySeniorQuote messages from seniors from around the country.
  • Student Spotlights: The Facebook App page will kick off a series honoring outstanding graduates and inviting the social network’s community to pay tribute to the noteworthy grads in their lives.

Tuesday, May 12:

  • Senior Night for Athletes: Instagram will host a virtual senior night dedicated to star athletes including Sabrina Ionescu, Shay Knighten, Myles Powell and Andrew Pryts.

Wednesday, May 13:

  • Senior Comedy Day: Comedians Quinta Brunson, Cameron J. Henderson and Christine Snaps will star in a virtual comedy show on @instagram, and the Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network is teaming up with meme creator Daquan on an exclusive graduation meme that will be available via @instagram and @daquan.
  • Part of Us: The Facebook App’s social pages will feature a film directed by Jenn Nkiru of Iconoclast, which gives voice to this year’s graduates as they share excerpts of Marina Keegan’s “The Opposite of Loneliness” essay with imagery from their school years.
  • #GradWalk2020: Special graduation walks from the class of 2020 will be shared on the Facebook App page’s Stories, and users will be encouraged to follow suit with the #GradWalk2020 hashtag.

Thursday, May 14:

  • Superlative Day: Instagram will pay homage to the best and brightest students, sharing @instagram superlatives with its featured creators.
  • #Your2020Portrait Art Show: The Brooklyn Museum and Instagram’s design team are collecting portraits from incoming, current and newly graduated college students. Five winners will be chosen, appearing in a virtual art show on @brooklynmuseum and @design and receiving $5,000 grants from Instagram.
  • @creators Graduation Celebration: The Instagram Creators account will feature creators including Livvy Dunne, Nia Sioux and Bryce Xavier, as well as yearbooks on Instagram.
  • Gifts for Grads on @shop: The Instagram @shop account will feature a graduation gift guide with products from a handful of shoppable small businesses.

Friday, May 15:

  • Dear Grads, Love Groups: Friends, family and community members from Facebook groups will share advice and well-wishes with the class of 2020, and they will be compiled in a film directed by Chris Wilcha, which will be available on the Facebook app page after commencement.
  • Shoppable Words of Wisdom: @shop will close out the week with a special Stories takeover by small business founders sharing their advice with the class of 2020.

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.
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