Is Facebook looking to replace your calendar?

Posted on October 30, 2015


Of all the facelifts that social networking site Facebook has undergone over the years, its notifications tab on its mobile app has remained largely untouched – until now.

Over the next few weeks, users of the app will notice a revamp that will add a variety of daily reminders, based on your activity and preference settings.

Tech site Mashable previewed the changes back in April of this year, so the changes have been coming for a while. The updates include “cards” – contextual reminders that will notify you of upcoming events. For example, if you ‘like’ a band on Facebook, you may well see a card alert regarding an upcoming gig near where you live. If you have liked a TV show, you may be notified of a new episode due to be broadcast that day.

At the moment, cards come in fifteen varieties, but users will only see five, six or seven cards at a time, according to Keith Peiris, Facebook’s product manager. He added that the goal of the system was to provide a personalised experience, with the option of fine-tuning them, or disabling them completely.

In addition to temporal reminders – such as birthdays and anniversaries – Facebook will also provide location-based cards too. This means, for example, if you have accepted an invitation to an event, Facebook will let you know when to leave so that you arrive on time, or it can let you know when a friend is nearby your location.

The new system won’t be forced on users; you will have to opt-in, and enable the app’s location-based services. Facebook has assured users that this should not impact on the battery life of smartphones.

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