Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Rachel Metz

A View from Rachel Metz

Facebook’s Clever Birthday Present for its Users

On its tenth birthday, Facebook offers users a data-driven trip down memory lane.

  • February 4, 2014

Today is officially Facebook’s tenth birthday, and to help users get into a celebratory and nostalgic mood, the social network released an impressive “A Look Back” video that automatically customizes to show each user highlights of their lives that they’ve shared on the service.

I have a hard time admitting anything Facebook does can elicit emotion from me, but this did. I got a little choked up watching the video it created for me, with a collage of mostly forgotten photos from my early Facebook days and music that swelled appropriately as big news I’ve shared on the site–like changing jobs and getting engaged–appeared onscreen (this was based on posts with the highest number of “likes”). It was sappy, but nice.

Besides being a smart use of all the content its users have posted over the years, “A Look Back” may also offer an interesting look at the ways in which Facebook could use the massive amounts of data we’ve given it by way of our status updates, photo uploads, comments, and “likes” in really personal, emotionally impactful marketing. That could be creepy, but it could also be compelling.

Want to go ad free? No ad blockers needed.

Become an Insider
Already an Insider? Log in.
More from Connectivity

What it means to be constantly connected with each other and vast sources of information.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to All Access Digital.
  • All Access Digital {! insider.prices.digital !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    The digital magazine, plus unlimited site access, our online archive, and The Download delivered to your email in-box each weekday.

    See details+

    12-month subscription

    Unlimited access to all our daily online news and feature stories

    Digital magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Access to entire PDF magazine archive dating back to 1899

    The Download: newsletter delivered daily

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.