Friday, March 22, 2013

Facebook Adds Weather Forecasts To Events Page

Facebook is getting on the data mining train by boosting its Events feature with some predictive features.

Some of the features that Facebook users will now find are forecasts (thanks to Weather Underground), satellite imagery, and other conditions of the area where they're planning their next romantic picnic or hike. 

Users will be able to see conditions up to 10 days in advance, giving them the ability to choose the ideal day to host their event which is especially useful if one is planning to have the event take place outdoors.

A company spokesman shared the following statement with AllFacebook: "To get more information about the weather, you can click through to see Weather Underground's full conditions, forecasts, and satellite imagery. Thanks to its localized weather stations, we're able to provide results tailored to the particular location within cities (not just the city's overall weather). This is important for places like San Francisco, where the climate can vary dramatically from block to block. Current conditions will also be shown on places pages like parks, cities, and neighborhoods."

Since Facebook is looking to make interactions engaging, it's possible that the next step will be towards recommending contextualized information thereby influencing what decisions a user of Facebook makes. For example, if you are posting an event that's to take place outdoors for a softball game, Facebook might make a listing of recommended days based off of the weather, the schedule of your friends, etc.

The changes were rolled out this month to a limited group of users; full roll out will happen within the next few weeks and users who use the app on their phones and tablets can expect to see the roll out happen soon as well.

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