It seems like how I use facebook is radically different from how facebook thinks I use facebook. For me, events are one of the killer apps that facebook provides, it’s basically the driver for my social calendar. But facebook has oddly seemed to relegate it to the red headed stepchild of it’s feature list. I talked a while ago about how you could infer company priorities through their mobile offerings and it’s quite telling how facebook regards events. Let’s review the status quo:
- Facebook for the iPhone app: events are completely missing. Theres no way to see them, there’s no way to interact with event news on the news feed, it’s almost soviet in it’s denial that events exist.
- Facebook website for the iPhone: Events are linked to prominently on the front page but the event description page is missing several crucial pieces of information. Address is listed but not location, both host and description are missing and, most importantly, the attendee list is missing. Photos for events is devoted an entire tab despite the fact that maybe 5% of events I go to ever upload any photos.
- Facebook Mobile: This is the only mobile offering that actually has a usable event interface but it’s also the least rich in user interface and most annoying to navigate to.
- Facebook main website: Post redesign, events are getting an incredibly short shrift on the new main website. Sure, you can see what everyone else is going to but trying to figure out how to get to a list of my events for the next week took me twenty minutes of poking around (click on the event app in the bottom left). I’m not sure anyone but a power user can still figure out how to see what events they committed to more than two days in advance.
I have to admit, I’ve quite puzzled by facebook’s attitude on this given that not only do I regard events as an essential part of facebook, I regard it as pretty much the killer app of facebook mobile. When I’m away from my computer, the chances are better than even that I’m heading to an event, at an event or leaving an event. Facebook needs to recognise the opportunity it’s been missing by neglecting events and return them back to their rightful place in the facebook ecosystem.