Facebook’s special “friends video” feature, launched yesterday as part of its self-declared “Friends Day” to be celebrated on the social media giant’s 12th birthday, has fallen far short of success. Facebook users around the world were greeted with a friendly message upon logging in on Thursday, which was accompanied by a short video proposing to summarize each user’s friends and their experiences together over the past decade. Facebook introduced the world to Friends Day on its own page, with a short video encompassing the company itself and its genesis 12 years ago.
The video used data gathered from skimming each user’s account for those friendships with the greatest frequency of posts, mutual check-ins, photographs in which both friends are tagged, and various other friend-to-friend interactions. The automated data was then used to compile the Friends Day video: a montage of each user’s closest, longest-term friends, as observed by Facebook.
Why, then, have users taken to social media, using the #FriendsDay hashtag, as reported yesterday by the Inquisitr, to declare the Friends Day video a fail?
The problem is that the Friends Day video algorithm failed to take into account those friendships of which, for whatever reason, users would rather not be reminded.
My Facebook #FriendsDay video is a magical journey through the people with whom I no longer speak but am still interested in judging online!— Tina Wargo (@tinawargz) February 4, 2016
Some users called the Friends Day video a flop for more personally upsetting reasons. With no way for Facebook’s automated compiling system to determine which photographs were fond memories and which might strike a nerve, many users found themselves being reminded of people, pets, and belongings for which they were still grieving.
when your facebook #friendsday video shows you a rottweiler, a friend who is dead, and a reminder of the oslo bombing of 2011.— christian sv kolding (@cskolding) February 4, 2016
The Friends Day video had some users feeling left out, confused or decidedly indifferent.
Some Facebookers, whether by their own design, a small pool of friends, or short term of having been signed up to the site, were not provided a friends day video because insufficient content was available.
Some users were simply uninterested in the superficially-generated slideshow that thousands chose to share.
Friends Day aside, Facebook has been criticized for its other automated applications, too. The notion that the system can intuit one’s personal relationships and fondest memories is flawed, according to some users.
Thanks Facebook for the great memories pic.twitter.com/Yk6h7qgwPY— Nico Fargione (@Nicostilus) January 25, 2016
In spite of widespread criticism calling the friends day clip a fail, social media’s most famous platform shows no sign of weakening its hold on the global market. Its integrated apps provide users with convenient, user-friendly and intuitive plug-ins for music, video, travel, marketing, and social apps. Statista reports that Facebook’s Spotify app alone has 39.74 million active users per month, with YouTube tailing closely behind.
Friends Day, it seems, is the issue: The celebration seems unlikely to become a national holiday, and perhaps not an annual venture for Facebook.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]