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Facebook to Host Virtual Graduation Event for Class of 2020 With Oprah, Other Celebs


(Photo by Jan Woitas/picture alliance via Getty Images)

The pandemic has forced many high schools and colleges to cancel or postpone graduation ceremonies, so Facebook is enlisting some celebrities to host a virtual event for this year’s graduating class. 

On May 15, the social network will hold #Graduation2020, which will feature a commencement address from Oprah Winfrey and appearances from actresses Awkwafina and Jennifer Garner, rapper Lil Nas X, and Olympian Simon Biles. Singer Miley Cyrus is also slated to perform her hit song “The Climb.”

During the same event, Facebook plans on honoring individual schools in the US. Details are scant; the company said only that: “the ceremony will acknowledge high schools and colleges in the US by name, state by state, including photos and videos of the class of 2020 and messages from deans and principals across the country.”

You’ll be able to stream the graduation ceremony on Facebook Watch, the company’s answer to YouTube. Highlights from the event will also be posted on Instagram, another Facebook property. 

Although the event won’t be able to replace a real-world commencement address, the company is encouraging individual graduates to hold their own virtual graduation ceremonies with friends and family using Facebook tools, including an upcoming “virtual graduation hub.”

Last week, the company also introduced Messenger Rooms, which is being designed to let you host video gatherings with up to 50 people. The social network plans on launching the new feature to all markets in the coming weeks. 

“Instagram will also roll out new creative tools and features including a graduation countdown sticker, celebratory sticker pack, new AR effects, and a custom hashtag page for #Graduation2020,” the company said.

Facebook plans on kicking off the ceremonies at 11 a.m PT / 2 p.m. ET on May 15.

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