Facebook is solving FOMO with a new live events feature that debuted over the weekend at the Lollapalooza music festival.
Users in the U.S. saw an enhanced Place Tips feature with friends’ photos, status updates, check-ins, videos and set times in an attempt to make its Yelp-like feature useful for those who didn’t make the pilgrimage to Chicago.
“This Place Tips Lollapalooza experience is just one of the many ways Facebook is trying to help people get the feel of an event when they’re not there,” a Facebook spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal.
Facebook has been struggling to capture the immediacy of live events, partly because of News Feed’s algorithm, which doesn’t always show users everything that their friends are posting as it’s happening. So, this experiment is likely a way to make it relevant against Snapchat and Twitter by presenting a unified events tool. The stream looks like a mix of the former’s Live Stories (minus the need to tap through) and the latter’s digestible bits of information mixed with photos.
This version of Place Tips can be seen as a pre-emptive strike against Twitter’s Project Lightning set to launch this autumn, where actual human beings curate tweets and photos from live events in an attempt to broaden Twitter’s usefulness. Place Tips could also be lucrative for Facebook since it could target advertisements to those attending an event.
For now, this tool is just a test. Facebook did not respond to questions about whether the feature will be expanded to other events.