with the recent launch of yelp and the ever-increasing popularity of social networking sites, the question is becoming more important than ever: do we still need ‘events sites’?
while both these event sites, along with multiple others have been getting a lot of attention lately, the future of these sites may not be so bright. to see why, let’s first look at some statistics for the two leading social networking sites and then how they are going head-on against these smaller sites.
even by these compete figures (according to some estimates, these figures are underestimated by at least 20 million users) the two networks account for about 90 million users, and doubling yearly. both myspace and facebook have launched their versions of on-site events creation and sharing.
events on myspace
give myspace events two minutes and you will see that you have all the important features of any events site available to you.
you can create events with event name and summary, created/hosted by information, the when and where, ability to upload pictures, option to indicate whether you will be attending the event, add it to your calendar, share the event with others, and finally discuss the event with others interested and attending. as for the question of whether people use this feature, i found over 12,000 upcoming events listed (within this week).
events on facebook
facebook offers a similarly (if not more) robust events feature set.
unlike what your first instinct would suggest, these social networking sites don’t restrict you to events just in your network. facebook, for example, let’s you browse events by your network or by choosing a global setting, by date, and by event type (party, trip, sports, etc.). again, you can create events with all the relevant details, can keep it open or restrict it to a select geographical network or social group, create a guest list, and allow users to interact with the event (share, upload pictures, create and participate in discussions, and more). as for the number of events, i was able to find over 500 events per category per day.
so are event sites dead?
with over 200,000 new users signing up for myspace daily, and with facebook’s growth at over 200%, and looking at the extensive events-related features that both social networking leaders offer, though event sites aren’t dead yet, the future seems rather bleak. not only do these sites offer most of the features of events-only sites, but they offer much more developed social networking abilities along with a much larger network to advertise to or share your events with (keep in mind you can also share events with people who aren’t actually members of these networks).
as for the question of whether events-functionality will be fully embraced by users of these networks, we have already seen that both the networks are seeing substantial events creation and sharing. as networking becomes easier and more mainstream, people are more likely to create and share events with people they know and can easily connect with and invite to their events through these online networks.
lastly we have to keep in mind that this information is only from the two leaders in the social networking space and there are countless others who have embraced or will embrace events-functionality.