Facebook adds hCalendar and hCard microformats to Events

Summary:Facebook Events have adopted hCalendar and hCard microformats. Unfortunately, Firefox 3+ is the only browser that supports microformats out-of-the-box.

Facebook has updated its Events to work with the hCalendar and hCard microformats. In other words, millions of public events, let alone all the private ones, are now being described in a standardized way, according to microformats.

Here is a code example the company gives for the date time row on an event: <div>Monday, March 14 <span class="dtstart"> <span class="value-title" title="00"> </span>6:00pm</span> - <span class="dtend"> <span class="value-title" title="00"> </span>9:00pm</span></div>

Here is a code example the company gives for a venue: <div class="location vcard"><span class="fn org">Shakespeare's Pub </span> <div class="adr"> <div class="street-address">314 East 6th Street</div> <div class="locality">Austin, TX 78701</div> </div> </div>

So what do this mean for the user? If you visit a Facebook Event in a browser that supports microformats, you will have the option to export said event to your iCal, 30 Boxes, Google, or Yahoo calendars. If you publish hCalendar, Google, Yahoo, and Bing will index and show rich snippets for your events.

Unfortunately, only Firefox 3+ supports microformats out-of-the-box. For Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Flock, and even older versions of Firefox, you'll need a plug-in. If you're interested, check out the browsers wiki on microformats.

"Facebook's deployment of hCalendar is just the latest in their series of slow but steadily increasing support for open standards and microformats in particular," a microformats spokesperson said in a statement. "Over two years ago Facebook added hCard support to their user profiles. Last year they announced support for OAuth 2.0, as well as adding XFN rel-me support to user profiles, thus interconnecting with the world wide distributed social web. They proudly documented their use of HTML5. And now, millions of hCalendar events with hCard venues. Looking forward to seeing what they support next. Well done Facebook, and keep up the good work."

Topics: Social Enterprise

About

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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