Facebook’s overhaul of its events feature took a big step forward Wednesday, enabling users to view their events in either a calendar or list format, with the changes originating from one of the social network’s hackathon events.
Wednesday’s introduction of the calendar and list formats followed Facebook’s moves in June to allow users to export events to users’ calendars and introduction of a revamped gear menu, as well as a test by the social network, also in June, of notifications alerting event organizers when their invites were declined.
Facebook described the new functionality and the process behind creating it in a note on the Facebook Engineering page by Software Engineer Bob Baldwin:
Today we announce a new list and calendar view that makes it easier to scan upcoming birthdays, invites, and suggested events. Scroll through these events and respond to invites without leaving the page. Suggested events are recommended to you based on your friends, pages you like, places you’ve checked in at, and the applications you use on Facebook.
To get to the calendar view, click on “calendar” on the top left of your events dashboard.
One of our greatest traditions at Facebook is hackathons, a time when engineers across the company get together to hack on new ideas and try to build a prototype overnight. About a year ago, I decided to try working on events at a hackathon and ended up building the events permalink on the homepage. More recently, a couple of us felt that there should be a better way for people to see their friends’ birthdays a few days in advance and make plans for the weekend. So we built it.
Together, we built a new list and day view, and incorporated posts, photos, and videos. We touched up details like making the events icon dynamically update to today’s date, rather than showing a permanent “31,” as before. After incorporating feedback from an internal test, we were excited to roll it out and take our hackathon project full-circle.