Facebook has introduced a new Featured Events section on the iOS version of the social network's mobile app, with 10 cities in the United States as the first ones to gain access to the feature.
About 550 million people use Facebook Events monthly, with 60 percent of the connections to the events happening by chance as users browse through their News Feed.
What would set the new Featured Events section apart is the fact that the list will be curated by actual humans and not the algorithms that have penetrated almost all facets of Facebook.
Previously, there were only suggested events, which were recommended to users depending on their interests and those of their friends, along with events for which users have received RSVPs. The suggested events, however, were often too soon to plan for.
With the new Featured Events section, users will be notified of upcoming events with a lot of time to prepare before going there, which includes planning itineraries and inviting friends to the event. Users who are highly engaged in using Facebook Events will also be receiving push notifications when certain events are added to the new section.
Facebook for iOS users in the cities where the feature will be first rolled out will see a carousel on top of their list of upcoming events. The curators will feature events covering art, community, entertainment, family, festival, fitness, food and drink, learning, music and sports.
"You can think about it like a weekend or weekly digest of cool stuff that you can do in your city," said Aditya Koolwal, product manager for Facebook Events.
According to Koolwal, the curators who have been hired to fill out the section will be looking through all the events listed on the social network, which would have a broad appeal and could accommodate a lot of people.
The team, however, will not include events that are primarily focused on worship or politics, as the company is now very cautious in dealing with such sensitive matters. In May, there were accusations that Facebook is practicing political bias by preventing conservative articles from being featured on the Trending Topics section. The claims were made by former Facebook employees, known as news curators, who chose the topics to be listed in the section.
The first 10 cities receiving the feature are Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. If the feature is deemed a successful one, Facebook will roll it out to even more cities.