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Facebook debuts hand-picked event listings in 10 cities

The social network now tells you what's up this weekend.
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In its latest attempt to seem a little more human and a little less algorithmic, Facebook debuted a new feature Monday that suggests interesting events picked by real, live humans in 10 major US cities -- even if those events aren't on Facebook. As TechCrunch reports, iOS users in San Francisco, New York, Chicago and elsewhere will see the cleverly named "Featured Events" listings at the top of the events tab starting today. Unlike "suggested" events, which are based on your friends' interests and RSVPs, Facebook has actually built out a team of curators to hand-pick events in each city.

According to Facebook Events product manager Aditya Koolwal, the new feature is meant to be "like a weekend or weekly digest of cool stuff that you can do in your city," and is designed to give people enough lead time to spot an upcoming event and invite their friends. For this initial rollout, the cities include Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. The listings will also focus on large, public events with broad appeal so there's no fear that your 10-person backyard cocktail party will suddenly get featured and go viral. Although it won't be selling the listings just yet, it's possible that Facebook will monetize the listings in the future. And, after that whole Trending Topics mess, Koolwal says the new Events listings won't feature anything political or religious in nature either.

Finally, as Recode points out, this is a relatively minor change for Facebook, but it could put another huge dent in print media and smaller city blogs where event listings never quite disappeared.

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