In a nod to the phenomenon of people celebrating special occasions on Facebook, the social network has today begun rolling out a new weddings and celebrations feature.
“Facebook has become a unique way people share and congratulate friends around exciting life events such as engagements and weddings or the arrival of a child,” a Facebook spokesperson told VentureBeat. “To make it easier to keep up with these momentous occasions and to ensure you can share in your friends’ joy, we are rolling out a ‘Weddings and Celebrations’ feature. Beginning today, special events, starting with engagements and weddings, will be displayed along with friends’ birthdays when you log into Facebook.”
Specifically, the feature highlights special stories, for now just engagements and weddings, with a cutesy heart icon alongside birthday notifications on the user’s Facebook homepage (pictured below). The update is being passed out to users now, with everyone getting the new notifications at some point today.
Just as with birthday notifications, you can click on a celebration story to view a fly out window and engage with the memorable occasion. You can choose to leave a message on friends’ Facebook Timeline, or click to view your friendship with one or both of the people mentioned in the wedding or engagement announcement (if you’re friends with both people, of course).
The celebratory notifications will only appear on the user’s homepage, and aren’t listed as part of the new Events calendar. The stories will disappear once you’ve engaged with them, or you can choose to remove them. And if there happen to be multiple celebrations in your social circle, Facebook will randomly rotate the stories displayed in the homepage event notification area.
While not radical or revolutionary in nature, the new addition to Facebook will go a long way in making people feel warm and fuzzy when they receive an overwhelming influx of congratulatory wishes, which will certainly be the case, if birthday notifications are any indication of what to expect. Ultimately, it’s a potentially powerful emotional tool that should further solidify the bond between Facebook and its more than 900 million monthly active users.