More than 75 million pages for private events were created on Facebook last year, and to keep its Events product growing the company is rolling out something that it believes will increase engagement for user-created events without much extra work on the part of the host: cover art themes.
If you’ve ever visited a group, event, or personal page on Facebook, you’ve seen cover art. The big photos which act as banners on these pages provide users with a little added personalization while keeping things within reason (*cough* MySpace *cough*). But at least in the case of events pages, it hasn’t been easy to add cover art from a mobile device — especially considering how the Events product is buried in a “More” menu within the Facebook app. And you have to find a good photo to use in the first place. With the addition of cover art themes to the Facebook app on Android, finding a beautiful, relevant photo to enhance your event is as easy as telling Facebook what the theme of your event is. The app will then present you with a pack of illustrations designed in-house and by outside designers.
The different cover art themes include everything from “Seasons,” which features illustrations of everything you might associate with the different seasons like summer and backyard BBQs, to “Recreation,” which within you might find an illustration of people jumping into a pool. There are 36 pieces of cover art to initially choose from, organized into categories like the aforementioned seasons and recreation. Facebook says it will periodically be adding new themes and illustrations over the coming months.
The big thing that Facebook wants to emphasize with the release of these cover art themes is engagement. The company says that it has found through feedback from users that adding a cover art photo to an event positively impacts the engagement (i.e. RSVPs) it sees. Launching this new Events product feature first on mobile makes sense simply because 55% of all Events activity (and most activity on Facebook period) happens from mobile devices. It’s Android and US-only for now, and will be coming to iOS soon.