- Facebook is hosting a virtual graduation event for the Class of 2020 on May 15.
- The unprecedented livestream will feature Oprah, Jennifer Garner, Lil Nas X, Simone Biles, and other special guests.
- The company is stepping up after graduation ceremonies across the US were cancelled due to the pandemic.
Oprah Winfrey will be the commencement speaker and Awkwafina, Jennifer Garner, Lil Nas X and Simone Biles will offer words of wisdom to the Class of 2020 in an unprecedented multi-hour graduation streaming event on Facebook and Instagram on May 15.
The #Graduation2020 event will be broadcast on Facebook Watch, with some segments posted to the @instagram account on Instagram, along with the social media accounts of the contributors, according to the announcement Tuesday.
In a blog post on Tuesday, Facebook executive Marne Levine wrote: “This is a bittersweet time for the Class of 2020. As students head toward graduation, it’s not the day they might have imagined — no processions, no diploma handoffs, no parties. They are commencing at a time of great uncertainty. But graduating is a tremendous achievement, and worth pausing to celebrate even in these circumstances. That’s why Facebook has planned a special event on the Facebook app and Instagram.”
Facebook’s actions illustrate how major tech companies have stepped in to meet needs created by the pandemic and lockdowns around the world — from people turning to Amazon for ever-more of their shopping needs to communication platforms like Facebook, Zoom, and Houseparty as users communicate with friends and family they can no longer meet face-to-face.
Facebook and Instagram will soon roll out graduation-themed stickers, filters and effects for the event, along with ways families and friends can host private virtual celebrations using the new Facebook Rooms feature. Miley Cyrus will sing her hit, “The Climb,” and more special guests are expected.
The coronavirus pandemic has upended graduation season with many schools scaling back, or in some cases canceling, traditional graduations.
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