Every year, Facebook celebrates its birthday and this year is no exception. Instead of calling it the company’s birthday, it calls it Friends Day, and now the hashtag #FriendsDay is trending on the social media giant.
The site gave its birthday an official name because friends are the reason the sites exist. Even family members are “friended” on Facebook, although they can be later given a family member relationship status, including mother, father, sister, brother, and even cousin. This year, #FriendsDay is being celebrated in style with videos highlighting the best aspects of friendships on the social media site.
Facebook wants to show that friendships can change lives. Old friends can connect and put smiles on faces, or people can make new connections that can change their paths completely. Facebook confirmed that it is updating its degrees of separation statistics, as well as launching new products to help communities grow faster and help people “rally around their friends.”
@mashable it made me smile 🙂
— suchi sen (@suchisen) February 4, 2016
— WPR Agency (@WPRAgency) February 4, 2016
The social media network has noticed that the community online has doubled over the last five years. The degree of separation has dropped from 3.74 to 3.57 degrees in that same time. It makes #FriendsDay even more important, as the world is becoming more closely connected.
One of the ways Facebook is celebrating #FriendsDay this year is to share Friends Day videos. These are personalized videos, and millions around the world will get the chance to view them. The short film will put photos together in a slideshow to highlight some of the more memorable moments, and then the videos can be shared quickly on the News Feed. Others can see your videos, and will be able to make their own.
This is not the first time Facebook has put together a video slideshow. For its 10th birthday, it decided to put together a collage of photos shared over the time period someone had been on the social media site. It started off with the date the person first joined, along with the first ever profile picture and then developed from there, including first moments, most liked posts and photos shared. The ending was a collage of photos with the recent profile picture in the middle.
— Hacker T Dog (@CBBC_Hacker) February 4, 2016
One of the downsides of some of the Facebook made videos is that they can include hurtful pictures. This was noted in the past, with TechCrunch reporting that in 2014 people were left heartbroken over some of the automatic photos chosen for the Year In Review video. There were images of lost loved ones and blocked friends that they did not want reminded of at the time.
Facebook has learned from that and continues to learn from mistakes with #FriendsDay. This time, like the 2015 Year In Review video, it is possible to make changes to some of the photos included. Friends can be removed from the Friends Day shots if someone wishes, and other ones added instead. The new filters are the same as the On This Day feature by Timehop, which does not allow images from memoralized accounts, where exes are tagged or where people have been blocked.
— Seán Lynch (@SeanLynch96) February 4, 2016
— lastminute.com (@lastminute_com) February 4, 2016
Videos are not the only thing people can share with the #FriendsDay hashtag. There will also be two new stickers added to the social media site, the “Best Friends” and “Friendship” stickers. These are stickers that individuals can choose to use to highlight who their best friends are on the site. Facebook says that the stickers are a way to show others people care.
Facebook says that most people in the world will be able to gain access to the new friendship videos. They will be available by midday on February 4, the 12th birthday of the social media network, and people are encouraged to share with hashtag #FriendsDay.