In New Test, Facebook Revives Previous Status Updates

Reminding Facebook users of their most popular status updates seems like a great opportunity for keyword advertising, but the social network has yet to incorporate engagement data into this test feature.

Facebook clearly wants some form of “greatest hits” recap of our status updates, but apparently it’s still a work in progress.

Today we spotted a reincarnation of this test feature, now labeled Previous Status Updates. While this seems a more accurate name for the feature, that’s a mere incremental improvement and not a true fix.

The randomness of this misses the whole point — why show random posts from the past instead of the most popular ones? Doing so would provide the best opportunity for keyword advertisements and have the most appeal for users, making the feature a win-win for all involved.

And this is the exact same comment we’ve offered about the feature’s previous incarnations — which makes it all the more puzzling why Facebook hasn’t yet linked this to engagement data. We’ve presumed that information would be easy to obtain and code into the feature.

So far, that’s hasn’t occurred, although at least Facebook’s stopped the ironic misuse of the word “memorable.”

We noticed Memorable Status Updates on May 16. Memorable Stories had shown up for us on January 12 and the preceding December 16, although the latter was more of a flash in the pan compared to the prior appearances.

Other Facebook users have reported first seeing these previous incarnations at different times than us, in some cases a couple of months earlier than we did.

The test has recurred enough to suggest that Facebook really wants to make something happen here. We’re all in favor of it, and hope that some day soon we’ll get to see what were our most popular status updates — they would serve as reminders to all of us on how to optimize our engagement on the site.

Readers, are you seeing any friends’ previous status updates on Facebook? If so, how does this latest incarnation compare to what you might have seen or heard about previously?