Facebook’s Look Back video feature has met with a mixed reaction. Although many users have been pleased with automated minute-and-a-bit montage created from their photos and status updates, others have been irritated by the artificial nature of the videos.
See your own personalised video here
Leaving aside the fact that Look Back lumps every video with the same sickly-sweet, advert-style-nostalgia, the fact that the videos are generated by algorithms has created some tension.
Did that picture of you and your ex really have to make the cut? Is the time your Facebook status got hilariously hi-jacked actually worth commemoration?
Thankfully for those annoyed by their Look Back offering, Facebook have said that they will soon allow users to edit their montage, customizing what content is included to their heart's content.
Speaking to Tech Crunch, a Facebook spokesperson said the site would be “launching an Edit feature soon."
“I don’t have exact timing at the moment, but this will enable people to remove a post from the movie that was pre-selected and change it to a different one,” said the representative.
Although Look Back is, at this point in time, no more than a novelty, its success underscores two important things: firstly, that for many users Facebook has become the default record of their lives; and secondly, that the site can deliver algorithmically-generated, HD video to millions of users around the world simultaneously.
This last point is technically impressive, but it also suggests that Look Back – or a similar feature – could become a standard tool on the site - an automated iMovie that you plug your holiday snaps or your New Year photos into, click a few buttons and hey presto, instant nostalgia.
Implementing basic customization options (anything from editing transitions to swapping out the soundtrack for one of your own) would be a logical step forward, and all the while it would be encouraging users to upload more content to the site and share more items with their friends.
Such a feature would be attractive to users who are too timid around technology to make their own slideshow – and it might even tempt back the portion of the user base who have become cagey about uploading content. For Facebook it’s win-win.
Facebook privacy settings you should know about
Facebook privacy settings you should know about
1/6 Change who sees your posts.
Anything you post on Facebook - from a status update to a photo - can be given its own privacy setting. 'Public' means that the information can be found via Google, or you can create custom groups of friends (http://ind.pn/1bVJJ2H) to share info with. Remember: whatever setting you last choose will become default until you change it again.
2/6 Check what your friends are sharing about you.
Sometimes it's not you, but your friends that give information away. Follow this link to see the information that your friends might be sharing with third party apps - http://ind.pn/1bVVar6. Click the 'edit' option to the right of 'Apps other use' and un-tick every category of info you don't want to share. There's also an option above labelled 'Apps you use' that lets you select which apps can use your Facebook data elsewhere on the web. Don't trust them? Click the little cross on the right.
3/6 Hide old posts.
If you're keen to make your Facebook past more private, limiting who can see your old posts should be your first step. Follow this link - http://ind.pn/1bVK7hv - and click 'Limit The Audience for Old Posts on Your Timeline'. You can make all of these old photos and stats updates vieweable to the public, friends only, or just yourself. From this page you can also change who can send you messages and friend requests.
4/6 Create friend lists.
Since September 2011 Facebook has let you create different 'lists' of friends in order to let you separate what your close buddies and your work colleagues see. Facebook can give you a head start by suggesting lists based on who you went to school with and where people live - and you can even choose to browse a News Feed populated only by a certain list. Follow the link below for a full guide: http://ind.pn/1bVPu0d
5/6 Limit adverts.
Pages you like will sometimes be used by Facebook to endorse a product to your friends. If you don't wnat these to show up head to this page - http://ind.pn/1j6Mc2b - select "Pair my social actions with adverts for no one" and click Save Changes.
6/6 Check your profile.
If you're still worried about which of your photos or posts are visible to people you can check what the public (or any specific individual) sees when they click on your profile. View your profile by clicking on your namem then click the cog in the bottom right hand corner of your cover photo, then select 'View as...'