Facebook Memories Shows Users a Year by Year Summary of their Activity

Facebook users got an early look at a new feature this morning called Memories which lets users browse Facebook activity for each year since they joined. One of the accidentally revealed prototypes, Memories utilizes a navigation bar to lets user jump between years and view counts of each year’s status updates, added friends, Likes, and Events. Details on the product are scarce since it was only up for a few minutes, but we also know a link to a user’s check-ins was temporarily available.

As many Facebook users have now been members for a long time and have built up lots of content and connections, innovative ways to browse this content are both satisfying to users and a good way to increase time-on-site. Facebook recently launched Friendship Pages which display all the mutual content and connections between two friends. While some users thought such a comprehensive and easily accessible view of their relationship with a friend was invasive, all the content was already available, and many others found the product to be enjoyable and a reminder of how Facebook has fostered their friendships. Users opinions on Memories may be similarly split.

The link to Memories appears beneath a user’s profile picture alongside links to their tagged photos. Clicking it reveals the navigation bar and that user’s content for one of the years they’ve been a member. Below the bar, users see a grouping of all their photos from the selected year. They can also browse their posted comments, status messages, add friends, and Likes. Memories could shown how a user has grown, or provide a snapshot of the way they wrote and the things they cared about during a certain period of their life.

It looks as if users can browse the Memories of any of their friends, though it’s possible that a user can only see their own Memories. One other new navigation link pushed was for Places, which would show a dedicated feed of all of that user’s checkins. This list is only available through third-party apps like PlacePop right now, as the Places link was also rolled back along with Memories.

A user’s Facebook content is so compelling, there’s potential to consume it in a variety of formats. Facebook will soon organize content chronologically as well as by the friends who co-own it, while Flipboard shows it big and pretty, PostPost focuses on the non-personal, and Wowd offers custom feeds and story search. Perhaps organization by traditional newspaper section categories such as sports, humor, or technology will be next.