Facebook releases social time capsule with On This Day

Want to know what you were excited about, what was making you sad or what your friends were doing a year or five years ago today

Facebook can help you with that.

As the social network's annual F8 developers conference kicks off today, Facebook quietly announced last night that it's launching a new feature called On This Day.

"People often look back at old photos and other memories they've shared on Facebook, and many have told us that they enjoy products and features that make this easier," wrote Jonathan Gheller, a Facebook product manager, in a blog post. "On This Day shows content from this date in the past. For example, you might see past status updates, photos, posts from friends and other things you've shared or been tagged in from one year ago, two years ago, and so on."

Only the user will see her On This Day information, though she can choose to share it with her friends, Gheller said.

As the feature, which isn't yet available to all users, rolls out on mobile devices and the web, users will find different ways to access the information.

To see their On This Day page, users will be able to click on the On This Day bookmark, search for "On This Day," or visit facebook.com/onthisday. Users also might see a story in their News Feed.

Once on the page, users can opt to subscribe to be notified daily to check out their memories.

Have a memory you'd rather forget or would rather your friends never see again Users also can edit and delete old posts.

The F8 conference kicks off at 1 p.m. ET. For those not attending the event in San Francisco, the conference is being live-streamed, although registration is required.

In the days leading up to the event, speculation has been mounting about what the world's largest social network might unveil today and tomorrow.

There have been reports that Facebook might release a new Phone app (http://www.androidpolice.com/2015/03/20/facebook-appears-to-be-testing-a-dialer-and-caller-id-app-for-android-and-its-called-phone/ ) that will give users information about who is calling and automatically block some incoming calls.

Facebook is reportedly in talks with various news organizations to host their news content on Facebook. At this point, newspapers, television news stations and blogs have been accumulating Facebook followers and posting comments about their news stories with links leading back to their own sites.

If reports are accurate, Facebook wants the news organizations to post their reports directly on the social network, keeping users eyes on its site and not the news outlets' sites. Some form of revenue-sharing deal is also expected to be included.

There are also reports that Facebook may expand the roll of Messenger, its instant messenger app, by making it a platform for developers to build apps.


Sharon Gaudin

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