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Facebook to stream a virtual graduation ceremony with Oprah Winfrey as commencement speaker

Facebook to stream a virtual graduation ceremony with Oprah Winfrey as commencement speaker


Plus new stickers and AR effects

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The USC Annenberg School For Communication And Journalism Celebrates Commencement With Keynote Address From Oprah Winfrey
Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images

Students around the world are going to miss their opportunity to have an in-person graduation ceremony, so Facebook has decided to host its own version.

The social media platform announced today that it’ll stream a live graduation event on May 15th over Facebook, which will feature a commencement speech from Oprah Winfrey, as well as smaller speeches by Awkwafina, Jennifer Garner, Lil Nas X, and Simone Biles. Miley Cyrus will also perform. Although the show will be broadcast over Facebook, select clips will show up on Instagram, at @instagram, too.

The ceremony will be a live graduation event streamed on Facebook and Instagram

Starting May 11th, that same account will host senior-related content, like senior superlatives and portrait showcases. Instagram itself will be getting some product updates, too, including a graduation countdown sticker, celebratory sticker pack, music stickers that connect to graduation songs, new AR effects, and a custom hashtag page for #Graduation2020. 

The core Facebook app is getting an information page on how to host virtual graduation ceremonies on the platform that’ll highlight custom filters and how the company’s new video conference software, Messenger Rooms, can facilitate everything.

Facebook isn’t the only company to volunteer its platform as a home for rites of passage. TikTok hosted its own prom night. In that case, it brought in a few stars, but mostly leaned on its own platform’s talent. Facebook is seemingly using its scale and famous names to its advantage in order to promote its own internal tools, especially its newly launched Messenger Rooms. It doesn’t want to cede graduation ceremonies and parties to Zoom.