Developed during a recent Facebook Hackathon, a group of Facebook engineers have designed and launched a new calendar for the Events page that allows a Facebook user to view all events in any given month at once. The engineers have included two options to view upcoming and past events, a list view and a traditional calendar view. When a Facebook user clicks on the Events page, the new design will show profile pictures of anyone that has a birthday as well as events that friends are attending. If a friend’s birthday is today, Facebook also offers the option of writing a “Happy Birthday” message directly from the Events page.
Beyond birthdays and recent parties, the events calendar also includes check-in data throughout the entire year and pages that the user has liked. Regarding the development of the new Events page, Facebook product engineer Bob Baldwin stated “A few of us created a Facebook group called “Social Calendar Dreamers” to spark discussion around making Events more visual. At the next hackathon, engineers from the events, photos, messages and other teams hacked through the night to build a better way to view events. By 6 a.m., we had a prototype that worked.”
Within list view, the user can scroll down the page to load more upcoming events during future months. The user can also click the arrow buttons on the small calendar on the left side of the screen to skip between future or past months. Each time the button is clicked, the page automatically loads all events from that month. This monthly navigation is ideal for locating past events in order to browse through comments and pictures on the events page.
If the user clicks on the calendar button at the top of the page, the entire view shifts to a traditional calendar. This will also become the default view each time the user visits the Events page on Facebook in the future. In addition to listing profile pictures for birthdays, the user can click on any calendar events to be taken to an event page. The user can also hover over the link to bring up an overlay window that offers the choice of joining the event or hiding it from the calendar view. The latter option can be helpful to clear events that aren’t in the area or simply aren’t relevant to the user. In order to see future months in the calendar view, the user scrolls down the page to load more months within the year. The user can also move back through time one month at a time by clicking the link for the past month at the top of the screen.
With this new framework for the Events page in place, it’s likely that the Facebook engineers will continue to build on the concept with deeper integration into photo albums as well as more Timeline data about major life events such as moving to a new city or the birth of a child. As of right now, the Events page revision is only available on the Web version of Facebook.