Facebook’s standalone Events app, released in October on iOS, is now being released on Android. Soon the app will go live on Google Play, according to TechCrunch. Facebook’s Events app assists users in browsing nearby happenings, seeing imported calendars, aggregating wall posts and alerts from Events, and viewing the dates of upcoming Facebook Events.
Events app not popular, but still useful
According to App Annie, the Events app has not been very popular on iOS, ranking between number 250 and 500 on the apps chart. Massive usage, however, was never the goal. Instead, the app is designed to help event promoters and Facebook’s extroverts discover and manage events.
“That trickles down to a better experience for everyone else as these users invite friends to events using Facebook,” says TechCrunch.
If the tech giant is able to boost the overall usage of its Events feature, it will assist it in strengthening one of its biggest differentiators against rivals. No other social app has such a vibrant events community, while event platforms such as Eventbrite do not have full-fledged social features, says TechCrunch.
In addition, if the social media giant can demonstrate that it is the go-to-place to find out what is going on locally, then it could attract more ad money from event promoters.
Facebook testing live 360-degree video
In other Facebook news, the social network is introducing 360-degree video into its live broadcasting platform, beginning today with a broadcast from National Geographic from the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah. Eight scientists will emerge from 80 days of living alone at 3 p.m. Eastern today. It will all be captured by National Geographic in 360 degrees, notes The Verge.
The Mars Society, a group dedicated to making that planet habitable, is funding the research station. A group of scientists has apparently been living inside pods in Utah, researching what it feels like to live away from humans, since September. The broadcast will include a Q&A session with these scientists. This is a one-off test for now.
Facebook says that in the coming months, other major publishers will get access to live video through the Facebook Live platform API. Users will need a special camera and some API knowhow to make it work. Sometime next year, the feature will be rolled out to all users.
On Monday, Facebook shares closed down 1.6% at $117.77. Year to date, the stock is up almost 13%, while in the last six months, it is up almost 1%.