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Facebook's Anniversary Gift to the Masses

Over the past 10 years, Facebook has changed the world. Instead of going to a high school reunion to catch up with your friends, you stalk them on Facebook. Maybe you used to send out party invitations, but now you simply create a Facebook event and call it a day. If something exciting happens, instead of phoning all of your friends and family, you create a Facebook post. It’s no wonder that more than 1.2 billion people log in to Facebook every day to catch up with their friends, family and any other random person they come across. Clearly, Facebook’s 10-year anniversary (on Feb. 4) was a monumental deal, and they decided to thank their users in a very sentimental way.

The 62-Second Facebook Flashback

What better way to commemorate their decade of exposure than with a short, personalized video that summarizes each user’s individual experience with the social network? The videos each followed the same format and were set to a simple, uplifting soundtrack. If you didn’t get one for yourself, here’s what they consisted of:

The title “A Look Back” appears amid the infamous Facebook icon and blue background. Then, it announces what year you joined Facebook, along with what is presumably your first profile photo. Next, the video enters a section titled, “Your First Moments.” Several photographs are shown, one at a time, from the beginning of your Facebook days. The video transitions to your most-liked posts (text and photos) and then continues on with a small sampling of the pictures you’ve shared. It’s about as perfect as a 62-second summary of 10 years (or fewer) can be.

A Generous Gift to Everyone

The customized video was available to anyone who wanted one. However, if the users were relatively new, they simply received a slide show of some of the pictures they had shared. Additionally, if not enough photos were shared to make a compelling video, a simple thank you note was shown (that’ll teach you to share more pictures). Interestingly, the design of the note was freakishly similar to a profile preview on Google Plus (coincidence?).

The Option to Edit

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is clearly not an idiot, so he understood that a random selection of posts might not please everyone. If someone didn’t like the video Facebook produced for them, they could easily edit out certain photos or updates that they preferred to keep private.

A Keepsake for All Time

Some consider it a pro and some consider it a con, but when you post something on Facebook, it will forever be accessible (as long as Facebook doesn’t disappear into oblivion). So as long as you shared your Look Back video to your timeline (even if you set it to private), it is eternally yours. However, if you did not push that green share button, your video is as good as gone. At least you have the memory of it to last you through the next 10 years.