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article imageFacebook announces plans to revamp Events and Notes

By James Walker     Aug 18, 2015 in Technology
Facebook has unveiled plans to reinvent its "Events" feature after realising it is used for public gatherings as often as the private ones it is designed for. The little-used Notes is also being completely revamped to rival platforms like Medium.
Most people have probably encountered Facebook Events at some point. It has proven to be a useful platform for organising birthday events, friendly meet-ups and family gatherings, allowing the host to see at a glance which guests intend to come while letting everybody send messages and share photos with each other.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed the true scale of Events earlier this year. Describing it as being of "global scale," Zuckerberg said that 450 million people now use Events to plan their gatherings.
Facebook Events is getting a substantial update soon
Facebook Events is getting a substantial update soon
However, it isn't just private gatherings that Facebook Events is being used for. When product manager Aditya Koolwal joined the team 18 months ago and started analysing usage data, he found that over half of saved events were for public gatherings like music festivals, craft fairs and cooking events — despite the software's current orientation towards planning birthdays and meet-ups between friends.
Facebook has used this discovery to its advantage, reworking Events to better cater for every style of occasion. Engadget reports that more new features were unveiled at the company's earnings call yesterday. They will be added in major updates over the coming months, bringing much better differentiation between a private and a public event with appropriate options shown accordingly.
Public events will have large, bold header images and will emphasize important information such as location and organizer. Users will start to see suggestions for events that they may be interested in and will now be able to use a new button labelled "Follow" or "Remind me" to express interest and save it for later without committing themselves using "Join."
Engadget reports that Koolwal said: "We realized that we hadn't really built a product that was for public events. So we decided that we're going to really pursue private parties and public events as two separate paths."
Facebook Notes will soon look more like Medium
Facebook Notes will soon look more like Medium
The Next Web
Elsewhere on Facebook, sweeping changes are coming to the little-used "Notes" feature. Notes essentially lets you write long-form status updates that wouldn't fit into a standard post or deserve some more space and a proper layout. Intended as a personal blogging platform, the feature has ended up forgotten about and unheard of by many users.
Facebook told The Next Web that it is currently working on a substantial upgrade to Notes that is designed to make it more appealing and a better competitor to established blog providers. It will bring new features including links, hashtags, better image management and the option to add a cover photo for a post.
The new Notes looks very similar to the posts produced by publishing platforms like the popular Medium. Teehan+Lax, the designers responsible for the first version of Medium, joined Facebook recently and the results are starting to become clear.
Combined, these two revamps show that Facebook is committed to ensuring that all of its features are able to compete with other offerings. It is updating Events to better cater for the breadth of occasions that users plan with it and redesigned Notes to give it another chance of success.
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