Facebook’s new Events app could be a Trojan Horse rival to Google Calendar
Facebook's Events app offers an in-app calendar that can sync schedules from other calendars, like Apple's iCal, Microsoft's Exchange and Google Calendar.
Facebook has become a popular place for people to pencil in their plans. Every day more than 100 million people — about nine percent of Facebook’s daily audience — use the social network’s events feature, per Facebook. So now, Facebook is spinning off events into own mobile app — which may become more than an event-specific calendar and more of a general-purpose calendar a la Google Calendar.
On the surface, the Events from Facebook app, announced on Friday, is something people can use to find out what’s going on nearby and what their friends are planning so they can coordinate their plans. But it also contains a calendar that people could eventually use to manage the rest of their schedules, such as work meetings.
People can browse events based on when and where they’re scheduled, as well as what types of events they’re interested in attending, including events posted by Pages. They can also check out a map view to plot out plans by proximity and search for events in specific cities. When people RSVP to attend an event, that event will be added to an in-app calendar so that people can keep tabs on their plans.
But here’s the really interesting aspect of the in-app calendar: People can sync the Facebook calendar with other calendars synced to their phones, such as Apple’s iCal, Microsoft’s Exchange or Google Calendar, and those events will appear in the Facebook calendar. So at first, Facebook’s calendar offers a low-hassle way to look at your different calendars, much like the iPhone’s Calendar app, and if people become accustomed to using Facebook’s calendar to see their work and personal plans, they might become inclined to use it to also schedule those plans. But that possibility may be hindered by the fact that the events people sign up to attend within Facebook’s app will become publicized on Facebook, which fits with Facebook’s social ethos but not the private nature of people’s personal calendars.
Right now the app is only available to iPhone owners in the US, but Facebook said it’ll eventually open up to Android owners as well.