Ever since introducing the Timeline, Facebook has constantly explored different ways of showing past updates, probably to highlight and enforce the connections people built over time, not only with their friends, but with Facebook itself, as medium for social interactions. One of them was the LookBack video launched for Facebook’s 10th birthday. Just yesterday I discovered one other, a feature buried in the News Feed that allows people to go back in time exactly one year ago, called ‘On This Day’. Amusingly, it was about one year ago when the big tech sites noticed this experiment, but I don’t remember reading about it. While it appears to have been mostly abandoned – the official page was removed on Facebook and I haven’t found it in the iOS app – it’s fun to explore just as well!
On the desktop site you will find it under ‘Apps’; hover over this section in the left sidebar, click ‘More’ and then you should see ‘On This Day’ in the apps list. There is a drop-down on the right to select the year, so you can go back to any year after you created the Facebook account. Or you can visit this link directly: https://www.facebook.com/todayinhistory?year=2013. It’s possible to change the year manually in the URL, but unfortunately that doesn’t work for the current year, it just redirects to 2013. Going back to 2007 really shows how much Facebook has grown – or at least the number of my friends and acquaintances using it. I find it surprisingly entertaining and I’ll probably return to check it in the coming days.