It’s basically a glorified calendar with some useful social media chops. The key feature is discovery: Open up the app and you can view the events your friends are interested in checking out and events hosted by Pages you like, in addition to updates to the events you’re already following.
If you’re bored and can’t figure out what to do with your week, you can browse through recommendations based on time, location, or your interests. There’s even a map to help you find things close to you (or in other cities, if you’re planning to travel).
Then there’s just a plain old calendar, which helps you keep track of all your upcoming events, and you can integrate the calendars already on your phone too.
That last bit is key; some people already integrate their Facebook calendars into their everyday ones for convenience, but releasing its own calendar app lets Facebook shift the conversation around its own platform. If people begin using Facebook’s app, its own events get pushed to the forefront, and more people are encouraged to post events to Facebook in the first place.
It’s a nifty idea that could help people actively use Facebook’s events feature. Most of the time, I forget the functionality is there and only check out events if I’m directly invited; I suspect that’s the same for many of Facebook’s users. I also have never bothered with integrating Facebook’s calendar into my regular Google one.
Having a standalone app means I might actually want to tune in and see what’s going on around me, and I can see Events being fairly popular with everyday users who don’t need powerful calendar features, or tend to use Calendars at all. The discovery element in particular is something no other calendar app can really offer, and it’s a convenient way to have all your upcoming tasks – Facebook related or not – in one place.
Events is available today on iOS (US only for now) and is “coming soon” for Android. No word on if you’ll be able to integrate your calendars into Facebook’s website; it would be a useful option.