2018 | Menlo Park, CA

Guide for the Perplexed

Facebook regurgitates the contextless past.

Today we’re launching Memories, a single place on Facebook to reflect on the moments you’ve shared with family and friends, including posts and photos, friends you’ve made, and major life events.

Every day more than ninety million people use On This Day to reminisce about these moments they’ve shared on Facebook, and research suggests this kind of reflection can have a positive impact on people’s mood and overall well-being. This is why we’re updating the experience to ensure all of your memories are easy to find.

Your Memories page can include several sections:

(1) On This Day: The content that you know and love will still be available within this section, showing your past posts and major life events from this date.

(2) Friends Made on This Day: This section will include a list of friends you made on this date in the past, including special videos or collages that celebrate your friendversaries.

(3) Recaps of Memories: This section will feature seasonal or monthly recaps of memories that have been bundled into a message or short video.

(4) Memories You May Have Missed: If you haven’t checked your memories lately, this section will show you the posts that you might have missed from the past week.

We know that memories are deeply personal, and they’re not all positive. We try to listen to feedback and design these features so that they’re thoughtful and offer people the right controls that are easy to access. We work hard to ensure that we treat the content as part of each individual’s personal experience and are thankful for the input people have shared with us over the past three years.

About This Text

From a Facebook press release. The company launched Memories as a replacement for its On This Day feature, which was criticized for its inability to filter out unwanted reminiscences. Survivors of the Charlie Hebdo attacks and parents whose children had died were among those reminded of tragedies via Facebook, spurring the company to reconsider the earlier feature. The newer feature is programmed to scan keywords and friend reactions to detect potentially undesirable memories.“If at some point…we stop posting anything new,” writes business journalist Molly Wood, “Facebook will inevitably hit peak memory, and the site’s news feed will collapse upon itself.”