Facebook is debuting featured events, which will offer recommendations—think rock shows, biking meetups, museum exhibition openings, etc.—based on human curation rather than an algorithm.
Previously, the digital giant only made event suggestions based on users' and their friends' interests via an automated system. Now, users will see both human-based and machine-based recommendations.
A Facebook blog post today described how the new element works: "Featured events are selected by a team at Facebook to show people fun local things happening in specific cities. To determine which events are included on a list, the team regularly reviews local art, entertainment, family, festival, fitness, food and drink, learning, community, music and sports events. The team also considers factors including location and capacity. Factors like whether or not the event host has bought ads for the event on Facebook are not considered by the team. Additionally, the team at Facebook is focused on featuring a variety of entertaining events, and will not include events primarily focused on politics or worship."
The product is launching in 10 U.S. cities: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. The curated program appears to take on local publishers such as Time Out New York and the Village Voice as well as mobile apps like Eventbrite, Like a Local, Scout and Field Trip.
"You can think about it like a weekend or weekly digest of cool stuff that you can do in your city," Facebook Events product manager Aditya Koolwal told TechCrunch.