Ostensibly a tool for collating the data from all our Facebook interactions and ordering it in such way as to create some sort of nostalgic experience, the new feature appears to have been released by accident Thursday morning.
As Courtney Boyd Meyers at The nextweb.com reported shortly after the incident: For a split second, we saw a new feature on our Facebook profiles. It was on the right hand side under Photos titled, Memories.
After I clicked, it showed options for jumping to photos grouped by years: 2010, 2009, 2008, etc. with complementing information like status dated status updates, the number of friends added per year, events attended and Facebook places check-ins.
While it seems that Facebook wants us to feel nostalgia for our youth, it should be pointed out that the idea is much more likely an attempt to make us feel nostalgic for Facebook itself; a means of instilling a particularly fervent kind of brand loyalty by positioning the service as an integral component of our strongest and most personal emotions. (I for one am tearing up already… though not for the reason they’d intended.)
Isn’t this simply Facebook’s latest attempt to justify its data-mining by showing us how we can benefit from pumping it full of all our darkest secrets (also known as crack for advertisers) and simultaneously softening harsh terms like data-storage?
This is especially the case when we consider that collected data, which is objective and never fades, could well be considered the polar opposite of such a tricky and subjective beast as memory.