Exercise 84 – How would you measure success if you were to build a Facebook Events feature from scratch?

Post and review answers and feedback to answers in the comments section of this post.

See also:

How to answer a metrics question in a product manager job interview

List of metrics questions for product manager job interviews

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Angelina Fomina
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Feature: The Facebook events feature let’s FB users create events for any occasion (private or public), invite users to the event, monitor and manage event registrations. Facebook wants to bring people together online and offline with Facebook Events. It wants to empower users to connect their audience and inspire them to spend time together in the real world.

Users & Their Needs:

Individual users:
1. Create private or public events
2. Invite friends to event
3. Make plans on the event page
4. Collect payments from their friends

Businesses users
1. Create free events vs. selling tickets for events by linking to a ticketing website vs. selling tickets directly on FB by setting-up integration with ticketing partner
2. Create one-off events vs. recurring events
3. Run ads by clicking “Boost Event” and get more event attendees
4. Manage event performance

User to focus on: Individual User.
Why?
– To focus on FBs goal of helping connect FB friends in the real world. Many competitors exist that help businesses create and manage events.
– Not many alternatives that are popular exist to help friends connect offline. So I’d focus on building the best tool possible for those users.
– Downsides may include lack of immediate advertising revenue. However, if users create and attend events “close to their heart” → created by their immediate friend group, they could build a habit to check-out business/sponsored events as well.
– FB can mix showing sponsored and personalized events in one place, conditioning the user to go to that place for everything that’s happening on their calendar.

Ideas for new FB event feature for the Individual User:

1. Build basic event creation features for individual user
2. Build function for individual users to collect money for event. Value: helps users manage event finances and creates a new revenue stream for FB with service fee.
3. Build function for event organizer to send and schedule specific push notifications for invitees like “Our cottage trip is 2 days away, everyone find a carpool please” or “Today is the cottage day and here are the new driving directions.” Value: helps users plan event in one sitting for the next few weeks/months and eliminates the continues hassle of updating the event and attendees.
Ability for attendees to add photos into a “Memories Portal” and FB will auto create a video composed of some of the photos to share. Value: helps users capture memories and share then on FB.

Choosing an Idea:

I’ll pick to build the basic event creation features 1st and after that build in the function for Facebook to help event organizers collect money. Why? There is a lack of competitor products that help friends manage payments between each other (Tilt was acquired and shut down). It is one of the core and most pressing issues friends face. The alternatives are complex and time-consuming like spending hours doing payments math at a McDonalds after the trip, or using Excel. Friends often lose out on money after an event and can be discouraged from organizing more friends with their friends. This feature will help empower users to create more events on the platform and can be extended to businesses after this initial test. It’s also a great additional revenue stream for FB.

Customer Journey – Event Creator:
1. Go to FB page
2. Click “Create Event”
3. Mark event as private or public
4. Mark event as free or paid
5. Set event details (photo, name, location, date, description)
6. If paid, set payment amount per person
7. If paid, connect bank account to collect deposits
8. Click Create Event [or exit]
9. Invite friends [or abandon event]
10. Interact over event posts [all event invitees]
11. Monitor payments coming in
12. Mark total payment as complete

Customer Journey – Event Attendee:
1. Go to FB page
2. See notification for event invite
3. Set status – going, maybe, not going
4. Interact over event posts
5. If paid, acknowledge and accept payment fee
6. If paid, connect bank account to send deposit

Metrics:

Acquisition:
– Appearance of event in invitees news feed + % activated
-Appearance of event in notifications + % activated
Activation:
-% free events vs. % paid events
-% events using FB Payments System vs. % of events not using FB Payments System
-% of users that started event creation but cancelled vs. % of users that successfully completed event creation
-% of users that created event but didn’t invite anyone to it vs. % of users that invited 1+ attendees to event
-% of users that were invited to an event and didn’t view it vs. % of users that viewed it
-% of users that were invited to an event and engaged with it vs. didn’t engage with it
Engagement = accepted event or declined event
-Daily # of events created + growth rate (are we making it easy for event creators to create an event and invite people to it?)
-Average % of confirmed attendees + growth rate (are we helping event creators get their attendees to accept the invite?)
Engagement:
-% of attendees engaging with posts
-Average # of posts + comments on event
-# of events with daily engagement
Revenue:
-% of event creators that connected their bank account and finished setting up payments
-% of attendees that paid to attend event through FB Payments System

Choosing a Metric:

I would focus on % of events that have been created, have at least 1+ attendees invited, and FB Payments system set-up. This % will let me know if we are successfully onboarding event creators to create event, invite members and set up payments. If all these steps are successful chances are the attendees will be more eager to engage with the event and accept the invite. We should take care of growing our “supply side” or the feature first and then optimizing the attendees engagement next. If we enable the event organizer to seamlessly and super easily create and manage the event, we’ll free up their time to build real (online and offline) relationships with their attendees, send them personalized follow up messages, etc.

anon
Guest
anon

Facebook events is a capability within Facebook to let users schedule events, invite other friends/family, and manage all the communication about that event with all the users. It is used by businesses to create public events to promote something, it is used by people to schedule public meetups and it is also used by people to create private events like a dinner party.

A typical customer journey starts with a user finding the Events page on Facebook, going through the event creation flow by adding the core details (description, location, timing, photos, privacy setting..), and then inviting guests, and then finalizing the creation, which makes the event live. The invited users then get notifications about the event, which will then get users back into the events flow to check out the details, and then confirm whether they can attend. Other users can also view the public events that are happening in their city in the Events experience.

Given that Facebook’s mission is to create a sense of community and bring the world together, and given that events are a way to bring people together, I’m going to choose the number of new events created as a measure of success. Another reason for choosing the number of new events is that new events is the hook to get users into this experience, and other engagement metrics like events viewed, shared, and comments created will happen only there are new events that are created by users to get other users back into the Events experience.Whatever Events feature is being built, we will track the funnel for that sub-feature, but we will pay close attention to the overall Facebook Events metrics.

Having said that, here are the metrics I’d like to track:

1) % of Facebook users that have either created an event or attended an event (by this I mean checking out an event and stating whether they are interested, going, maybe or can’t go)

2) % of FB users that have even viewed the Events experience.

3) If there’s a new user-visible capability added within Events (e.g. order food experience), what is the click-through rate for the various steps

4) DAU, WAU, MAU for facebook events

5) Stickiness (DAU/MAU)

6) Average number of people invited per event

7) % of people that respond to an event (interested, going, maybe, not going)

8) Social engagement on events
a. # of comments per event
b. # of reactions per event
c. # of photos/videos/gifs added
d. # of posts per event

9) # new events created

10) Overall mins spent in Facebook

11) Average number of events per person in a given month

Bijan
Guest
Bijan

Hi Anon
Thanks for the answer. My feedback on this is similar to the feedback I provided to your other answer on exercise 85. Let me know if you have any further questions or feedback.

payam
Guest

Hi Bijan, I’m unable to find your response to the other answer from Anon. Would you be able to share that response? I’m very interested in reading your feedback. And thank you for creating this forum.

Bijan
Guest
Bijan

Check out exercise 85.
And don’t forget to try answering a couple of the questions. It’s a great way to learn:)

Steve
Guest
Steve

How would you measure success if you were to build a Facebook Events feature from scratch?

Events is a feature, built into the Facebook platform, for locating and engaging in planned activities with friends and a community at large. It organizes and centralizes communications between event planners and attendees in an event specific context to provide context and history to the evolution of the event details with a low-touch engagement. It also provides a method of looking for discovering new events and passively seeing what things your friends are up to, providing a sense of awareness and choice.

To clarify, in terms of success, are we looking at engagement metrics as defined by prospective attendee or host, or are we looking to develop more data profiles surrounding activities for third parties, or introduce revenues to the platform? Engagement metrics by both attendee and host, excellent. Important to clarify because the goals are mutually exclusive, are we looking to support hosts with public events or private events with the feature? Assume public events.

A typical journey would involve a host, with a number of followers/ friends, creating the profile for the event including some promotion and the logistics – who, what, where, when, why, and a event picture. The event page may have a link to ticketing or terms for attendees – BYOB, dress, etc. The prospective attendees will see it either by direct invite or by friends who have clicked attend or share the event.

I’ll assume an optimum solution that drives value for both host and attendee for engagement.

Acquisition
-Appearances in news feed from friend engagement.
-Impressions in news feed from friend engagement.
-Click-throughs from friend engagement.
-Appearance in news feed from advertising.
-Impression in news feed from advertising.
-Click-throughs from advertising
-Discoveries from search tool.
-Click-throughs from search tool.
-Number clicking interested.

Activation
-Number confirming attendance – Going.
-Dropoff in status vs ticket site visits vs ticket purchases
-Number of direct event shares or name tags in comments.

Retention
-Number asking questions/ confirming arrangements on event page.
-Number who click-through from event update notifications.
-Number who tag event pages in status updates.
-Number who sharing with friends after initial subscription via direct message or post.

Monetization
-Number confirming Going status.
-Number of ticket sales with correlating FB names attached.
-Measure churn between Going status and ticket sales. Measure last engagement of 1 month+, 2 weeks, 2-days prior to event, vs sales.

Retention metrics would be the optimum measurement for engagement with events, because with retention and active engagement, the early phases of the funnels will draw prospective candidates. The monetization aspect is confusing today as most of the activity happens off-platform and I’m assuming that to be outside the scope of this assessment as a feature. Understanding the number of tags and shares of the event, as well as the non-clarifying engagement comments would be helpful in providing the host information about interest. Questions about the event itself are valuable in understanding if it has been adaquately planned. The more engagement, the more acquisition and activation!

Steve
Guest
Steve

@Bijan – I incorporated your feedback on this one. Thoughts? It seemed to draw out the response time considerably. Any tips for how much time to spend in each phase?

Bijan
Guest
Bijan

Hi Steve,
Thank you for the answer. I think you’ll want to get into more detail with each metric to describe what they are exactly (what are you measuredly exactly?) and why they are important to the goal of the project. Try reducing the number of metrics to be able to focus on the most important ones.
The structure is good. You won’t have more than 3-4 minutes for each phase so you’ll want to pick a couple metrics that are really important and explain their relevance in more detail.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I think you started off great and defined your goal as engagement. however when it came to talk about metrics, you never mentioned a single engagement metric. rather you talked about all sorts of different types of metrics.

Ravish
Guest
Ravish

I think Steve meant to use Retention metrics for Engagement. Engagement is what he has specified and measuring those over the period of a timeframe defines Retention numbers.