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This is Your Life – Facebook Style

Do you remember the show “This is Your Life”? It presented the life story of well respected individuals and celebrities with the help of their friends and family members. When it was first broadcasted in 1948, it was simply a radio show created to encourage positivity amongst disabled World War II veterans. Its high appeal led to the show being aired on national television and to date has been produced in 11 countries with an elevated rate of success throughout. Nostalgia, humour and the many emotional reactions are most likely the secret ingredients behind the success of this heart warming show.

Now Facebook follows suit, introducing “Look Back Videos” released to users concurrently with their 10th Year Anniversary celebrations. The feature offers 62 seconds of personalised video content created from user’s shared content, profile pictures and favorite posts, accompanied by cheesy music for that added touch. It’s highly unlikely that you’ve missed any of these videos as they come with a share option, heightening the risk of placing them in the same category as baby pictures and cat memes.

The thing is that where “This is Your Life” pointed out the biggest, funniest and most memorable moments of a person’s life, Facebook’s equivalent will most likely give you a few embarrassing photos that you’d rather wish had stayed hidden. It is possible to edit your video, but why bother? Unless you share it, it will disappear after a month.

So is this another one of those phases? One of those not-so-successful engagement strategies conducted by many big brands every now and again? It could be, if you choose to look at it as a specific feature on a specific social media platform. However, you can add meaning to the “Look Back” videos if you start analysing what Facebook is actually doing. It makes sense to offer users a look in the rear mirror as Facebook turns 10, doesn’t it? Zuckerberg and his crew create momentum that may give a kick start for the next ten years to come.

It doesn’t matter if you like your video or not, people are talking about “Look Back”, or more importantly, the social network that made it.  Can you think of any other company that offers their customers a reason to reflect on their experience with it over the years?

The Look Back feature may not (yet) have turned into that heart warming cup of nostalgia that “This is Your Life” was, but they gave it a go. The project’s engineering lead mentioned that the main motivating factor for the videos was that Facebook is one of few companies capable of pulling something like this off. Maybe this is just another opportunity for the world’s biggest social network to flex its muscles.

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Image courtesy: free-classic-tv-shows.com, tropicalpost.com

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