Facebook today announced a redesign of its “Life Events” feature, which allows people to share significant milestones in their life, like an engagement, graduation, a new job, a move to a new city and more. The feature has existed since the launch of Timeline, but has to date offered a fairly nondescript type of post. Today, that’s changing, Facebook says. Now, users will be able to add animated photos or videos, photos from the people or Page you’ve tagged (like those of your partner or your new workplace), or you can pick an image from Facebook’s own art collection, if you don’t have your own.
The photos and videos you post will also have subtle animations, like slowly zooming in, to give the post more attention. And you can still pick an icon to represent the life event, as before.
The idea behind the redesign is to give these sorts of posts a better way to stand out from other posts, the company explains.
Of course, Facebook likely wants to increase the feature’s adoption, too, as it’s a straightforward way to collect profile data on an individual that they may not have otherwise filled out — like where they live, where they work or their alma mater, for example.
Facebook will also now alert your friends directly when you’ve shared some life events, it says.
For certain types of life events — like changes in your current city, work, education and relationship status — your friends may receive a notification to let them know about the news. This ensures they won’t miss the update if they were just casually scrolling their News Feed. And it’s a way to make sure the event gets seen by your broader network of Facebook friends — including those acquaintances whose updates don’t regularly show in your News Feed, as Facebook’s algorithms have determined you aren’t close.
In addition, when you react to a life event someone else posted, with a like, wow, heart, etc., Facebook now shows all the other reactions from friends alongside your own.
Perhaps most importantly is that Facebook is finally giving life events a place of importance on users’ profiles.
While the feature for years has been touted as a way to remember significant events, it’s actually been fairly difficult to relocate your older life event posts from years ago. With the update, however, life events will have their own dedicated section on user profiles. (You can opt to hide a life event here by tapping the “…” button then selecting “Hide from Timeline,” if you choose).
This will give people visiting your profile for the first time a way to get to know you by way of the most important moments you’ve shared through this feature. That may not be something everyone is comfortable with, though, so you’ll want to check to see if there are any older life event posts you need to hide or delete.
The updated life events are rolling out worldwide on iOS, Android and desktop beginning today, and will be completing in the days ahead.