Mike Isaac

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Facebook Testing Timehop-Like Feature to Surface Past News Feed Posts


Facebook is getting the slightest bit more nostalgic.

The company is trying out a new feature inside of the News Feed that lets users surface old Facebook posts from their Timeline.

Facebook confirmed the new feature in a statement: “We’re testing a new way to help you remember favorite moments by making it easier to revisit previous News Feed posts,” a Facebook spokesperson told AllThingsD. “When you click on this notice, you will see a selection of some of the top posts from your News Feed from a year ago. This is just a small test at this stage.”

The feature is much akin to startups like Timehop and the now-defunct Memolane, single-serving apps that connected to users’ various social media accounts and resurfaced status updates, tweets and photos from years past.

I found Timehop in particular to be equal parts charming and embarrassing when looking back on what I had to say just a year or two ago.

But as an app that served little purpose outside of digging up the past, it was difficult to see any direction in which it could evolve. I’ve also been suspect of how long people would keep an app devoted entirely to this purpose before deleting it from their phone.

It makes sense, then, that a site like Facebook — which aims to essentially be a digital-identity service and record of your online life — has subsumed the functionality. It’s also a simpler way to look into the past without requiring the work of digging back through your entire Timeline.

As Facebook said, the feature isn’t being pushed out widely at the moment. But the timing of the test seems perfect: It comes smack in the middle of Thanksgiving and the holidays, the time of year perhaps best suited to nostalgia and self-reflection.

(Image of clock courtesy of Grufnik/Flickr)

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