Facebook is humping on the contextualized data train and boosting its Events feature with some predictive powers.
Facebook disclosed to reporters today that Events pages will show the weather forecast, courtesy of Weather Underground, based on the event’s location. Invitees to these events on Facebook can check out the weather if that event is happening within the next 10 days.
At the same time, users that create these events will also be able to see what the upcoming weather might be like and accordingly choose the ideal days to host the event (especially one that takes place outdoors like a concert).
This new feature was actually an implementation that came out of a hackathon. Despite the origin of the feature, Facebook is being careful with rolling it out to both Web and mobile. The network wants to use it as a reminder, rather than a constant forecaster that shows up on various hubs of the site. Outside of Events pages, Facebook will also be publishing this data on pages for parks and cities, location-focused pages, which makes sense for travelers. As a user, it’d be nice to see whether an outdoor park hosting a concert you’re planning on going to is going to rained out or not.
Weather forecasts are minor updates, compared to the scale of new features implemented lately, but what’s evident and actually quite significant is that Facebook is taking baby steps toward presenting users with more and more contextualized information.
Right now Facebook is all about engagement and the next step might be toward swaying our actions and decisions by recommending contextualized information. Maybe we’ll starting seeing something along the lines of listing recommended days to host events based on your friends’ schedules, or music recommendations based on the mood of your status updates.