In my experience, Events made in Facebook have seen increasingly diminishing returns within the Facebook newsfeed over the past few years. I have often wondered what Facebook was planning on doing with Events, and now we know. Facebook just released Local from Facebook and put out a standalone app that feels nothing like Facebook. Which is a good thing.
Events Done Right
You have to log into Local with your Facebook account, but after that you are transported into an app that should be what Yelp feels like. The points of interest focus was the one things that really shocked me about trying this app out. By connecting the points of interest of businesses, they are able to give the user of the app a way to contextualize the upcoming events in their area. I was shocked at how many things were going on in my area that I didn't know about.
Real Reviews from People I Care About
Getting back to the Yelp vibe, restaurant searching is really exciting in this app. Finding something like what coffee shops my friends would recommend is simple and Facebook add's your friends to make the results relevant to you. One of my biggest complaints about Yelp is that I don't actually know the people that are reviewing these locations. Taking the "Cafes" search as an example, I may choose "The Camp House" over "Milk and Honey" due to the fact that more of my friends like it. Those 509 reviews with a 4.8 score don't matter, it's a quality over quantity decision.
What Does This Mean?
If this app gains traction, this could be a real game-changer for creating events and gaining visibility for those events. It also could be a way to keep users within the Facebook camp, while going after users of Yelp and even Google. I can also see a potential for Facebook providing advertising options down the road.