Facebook ‘Year In Review’: The Popular App Has A Bit Of A Dark Side

The Facebook “Year In Review.”

Chances are that you have already seen more than your fair share of these presentations pop up in your recent Facebook feed.

On the surface, the Facebook “Year in Review” post is a creative and clever idea that seems appealing to the average Facebook user.

As the end of 2014 quickly approaches, “Year In Review” posts allow users to enjoy their own customized video collage of photos that were posted to their Facebook pages in the past year.

If you are pleased with the brief photo show created just for you, Facebook allows you to quickly share it with the rest of your online friends and even the rest of the world.

With an impressive default tagline such as “It’s been a great year! Thanks for being a part of it,” it is really not surprising why so many people have flocked towards creating and sharing their own “Year In Review” posts.

However, recent reports have shown that not all of the people that have seen their “Year In Review” have been pleased with it. Keep in mind that the “Year In Review” posts are not created by actual Facebook staffers that pick and choose your most memorable photos.

On the contrary, a series of algorithms were used to develop the “Year In Review” so that anyone could have their video presentations created automatically without any need for human intervention. Therefore, unless you have posted nothing but happy photos and videos all year long, chances are you might stumble across a tragic picture that you may not have been so eager to remember.

Web design consultant and blogger Eric Meyer tried to avoid previewing pictures of his daughter that were featured within his own “Year In Review.”

After losing her on her sixth birthday to brain cancer, being forced to see a personalized prompt appear in his news feed with a picture of his deceased daughter was definitely not a pleasant experience for Meyer.

In a recent blog post, Meyer expressed that he knew Facebook didn’t intend to hurt him and stir up those emotions.

On the contrary, the Washington Post reports that Meyer identified the root of the problem as being more of an “unkind design flaw.”

“This inadvertent algorithmic cruelty is the result of code that works in the overwhelming majority of cases, reminding people of the awesomeness of their years… But for those of us who lived through the death of loved ones, or spent extended time in the hospital, or were hit by divorce or losing a job or any one of a hundred crises, we might not want another look at this past year.”

Jonathan Gheller, the product manager behind the “Year in Review” app from Facebook, reports that he has since apologized to Meyer for the pain caused by the preview feature. Gheller states that Facebook’s design team responsible for the “Year in Review” app are working hard to make the necessary improvements for the next time that they introduce this type of concept.

“It’s valuable feedback. We can do better — I’m very grateful he took the time in his grief to write the blog post.”

However, according to the responses posted on Twitter, there are quite a few people that are not very pleased with the “Year in Review” concept in general.

What do you personally think about the “Year in Review” from Facebook?

[Image Credit: Vimeo]