Facebook Events Getting New Features

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Do you use Facebook Events to plan your birthday party or that ill advised sweater party from last year that nobody came to even though you invited everybody on your friends list? If so, there are some changes coming that will make it easier for people to ignore your even more persistent invitations.

Bob Baldwin, a software engineer at Facebook, posted the updates to Events on his Facebook profile. The changes are coming to event creation, the event wall, invites and declining.

The first change will alter the event creation dialog box. The only fields that are required to create an event are now name, date and privacy. Previous details like location and time can be added, but they aren't required like they were previously. If you're terrible at choosing locations, somebody who joins the event can choose a place to go. There's also support for timezones so your friends in central standard time know you mean the event is happening on eastern standard time.

The event wall has been built with the confirmed guests primarily in mind. A nice thing is that posts on the event wall are now organized by activity. As an example, say you create an event for a pool party. A friend asks if anybody else is going to bring the guacamole, but their question gets shoved all the way down to the bottom due to post after post of your lady friends asking which bikini they should wear. You being the good guy Greg that you are answer his question and his post is pushed back up to the top so everybody knows that he is bringing the guacamole.

In an attempt to make Facebook more instant, accepting an invite will send a notification to the creator of the invite. This also makes peer pressure more effective as multiple friends can invite you to the same event. Facebook will also remind you that you may have left out some people and will list them on the side for you to invite.

Declining is much more personal now too. If you decline an event, only the people who invited you will see the declination. To help preserve their privacy, Facebook will also filter out the reason why they could not attend. The information will only be available to the people who invited them.

With these changes, events are getting more personal and easier to manage. As Baldwin pointed out, these changes make events more like groups. This is only a good thing as groups have always been easier to manage than events.