In addition to Winfrey’s keynote, the May 15 event will feature Miley Cyrus performing her perseverance-themed hit “The Climb.” Celebrities on tap to address the class of 2020 in the live-stream include Jennifer Garner, Lil Nas X, Awkwafina and Olympic champion gymnast Simone Biles; Facebook expects to announce additional guests later.
“#Graduation2020: Facebook and Instagram Celebrate the Class of 2020” will kick off Friday, May 15, at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT. The multi-hour live broadcast will stream on Facebook Watch (available at facebook.com/facebookapp). Individual segments will be posted to the @Instagram account and participants’ individual handles.
According to Facebook, the ceremony will give shout-outs to individual high schools and colleges in the U.S., state by state, including photos and videos of the class of 2020 and messages from principals and deans.
Facebook’s 2020 graduation event programming is aimed at spurring users to engage with the platform — so they’ll spend more time watching, commenting on and sharing content with their friend groups.
“As students head toward graduation, it’s not the day they might have imagined — no processions, no diploma handoffs, no parties,” Marne Levine, Facebook’s VP of global partnerships, business and corporate development, wrote in a blog post announcing the event. “But graduating is a tremendous achievement, and worth pausing to celebrate even in these circumstances.”
The social giant also is enabling grads to host their own digital ceremonies and parties via the Facebook App, with special features including a virtual graduation hub, custom filters, and video chats through its new Messenger Rooms feature.
Facebook and Instagram are set to launch other programming and features in the week leading up to the 2020 graduation live-stream.
On Monday, May 11, Instagram will kick off daily programming that spotlights graduates’ experiences, like portrait showcases and senior skip day. Instagram also will roll out new in-app creative tools and features including a graduation countdown sticker, a celebratory sticker pack, new AR effects, and a custom hashtag page for #Graduation2020. In addition, Facebook and Instagram Stories will launch a graduation theme for music stickers, comprising a list of grad-related songs for moments users share to their stories.
“Graduation2020: Facebook and Instagram Celebrate the Class of 2020” is being produced by B17 Entertainment, with Rhett Bachner and Brien Meagher serving as executive producers and Jane Mun as showrunner and executive producer.
(Pictured above, l. to r.: Oprah Winfrey, Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Garner, Lil Nas X)