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Facebook takes on Timehop with nostalgic 'On This Day' page

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facebook on this day
facebook on this day

Facebook could get a little more nostalgic. The social network is currently testing a feature that will let users take a trip through the past, viewing the highlights of what they and their friends were up to exactly one year prior to the current date. The history feature — currently called "On This Day" — has begun appearing as a viewing option in select users' News Feeds. They won't be seeing mundane updates though: Facebook appears to be picking out stories with plenty of likes and comments, and leaving the more forgettable entries in the past. It's a riff on a small feature that Facebook previously tested, though in its prior incarnation, it only displayed status updates.

But the idea of taking a look back through your digital past has become much more popular in the time since, largely thanks to Timehop. Timehop pieces through its users' histories across sites like Flickr, Twitter, Instagram, and even Facebook, and each day returns to them with a summary of their activities on that day during the years before. Facebook's history feature is taking that a little bit broader, focusing on the events of everyone that a user is connected to — and not just a user's own activity. While Facebook frequently tests features that are never launched on a broader scale, Timehop's success suggests that On This Day could fill a common nostalgic itch.