Virtual Graduation: Presenting the Class of 2020

The latest in a craze of “virtual” celebrations is virtual graduations.

After virtual weddings, virtual proms and virtual hen parties, a virtual graduation was the logical next step. The closure of schools and universities across the country has left final-year students feeling flat. The last weeks of school or university are normally a time of jubilation, excitement for the future, and time to enjoy with classmates. Now, students have had the stress and boredom of exams and final coursework from their homes; without any of the nostalgia. Luckily, their graduation will not have to be such a pity party thanks to Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook Virtual Graduation

Beginning May 11th, Facebook has rolled out a whole host of events to celebrate the virtual graduation. Across both Facebook and Instagram there are a new range of graduation-themed tools and products. These include various filters, stickers, competitions and challenges, amongst other things. In the days leading up to the virtual graduation ceremony, Instagram will show complementary daily videos. These will include iconic senior experiences, “most likely” votes and a gallery of senior portraits. On Facebook Messenger, there will be a grad-themed video chat filter so that people can see themselves in the cap and gown. This will also be available in Instagram story effects.

Virtual Graduation Ceremony 

The main event will be a virtual graduation ceremony. Facebook will be streaming this event on May 15th and it has an all-star cast. The opening speech will be made by the ever-inspiring Oprah Winfrey. Guests will include gymnast Simone Biles, rapper Cardi B and actors Jennifer Garner, Awkwafina and Matthew McConaughey. There will even be a performance from Miley Cyrus. The event will air at 7PM GMT+1 on May 15th and you can watch via the Facebook Watch App.

Celebrity Involvement

Apart from the star-studded line-up of the graduation itself, many celebrities are to participate in the lead-up events, There will be a specific night devoted to athletes, featuring star athletes including top NBA players and baseball stars. There will also be a live stream comedy show featuring some of the US’s most well-known comedians. 

User Engagement

Aside from philanthropy, the purpose is two-fold. As well as celebrating the Classes of 2020, Facebook is aiming to increase the user engagement. Notably, the amount of time users are spending on Facebook and Instagram. The aim is that this will not merely be for the virtual graduation ceremony itself. This is part of the reason that a week’s worth of activities have been planned for grads and others to take part in.