‘Moments’ in and out of Facebook

Pratik Joglekar
Oct 8, 2017 · 3 min read

“The reason some portraits don’t look true to life is that some people make no effort to resemble their pictures.”
Salvador Dalí

When we look back at our lives we realize the past is hazy, we don’t really remember all that we have done. The crazy parties, hilarious jokes, vacations with friends, and some hangover secrets which we have completely forgotten. We always wonder how our lives have changed over time with not much to recollect and talk about and a few stories to tell because memories fade with time. George Eastman who pioneered the photographic film was the one who realized that stories are worth sharing. Every person wants to remember and relive the moments in their lives. People started clicking pictures and making albums. They would pull those albums out of the closets and turn the pages to reminisce in nostalgia, the time that has gone by.

During its infancy, Facebook did something amazing by introducing ‘photo sharing’ feature. People could upload their pictures, create albums and share them with their friends. They could talk about all the events and memories linked to those pictures. This became like a digital footprint of your entire life and something that will not just collect dust in the closets but can be shared with friends and shown to the world on demand!

Facebook started digging out old memories and sending notifications to their users. There is the nostalgia of looking back and seeing how you have grown out of that bad haircut and saggy T-shirt, or the time when you and your friends clicked a really funny picture. People could re-share these moments with friends and talk about it. All was good till people realized that it became a bit of a hindrance that anyone could comment on shared pictures. Some pictures are private and are shared only with people who were present or know about it. That is when Facebook introduced privacy settings which allowed people to limit the number of people you share pictures with. The idea was to make it more intuitive, yet it turned out to be otherwise. People shared photos, but not all of them. They circulated pictures on their private Whatsapp groups but never had a chance to revisit them. Facebook realized these problems users were facing and came up with a solution to keep the pictures connected to them yet keeping them private. Facebook realized that the expense of this project owes a dedicated application.

Introducing ‘Moments’ by Facebook. This application designed to sync all the images clicked and stored on anyone’s phone. It organizes the collected pictures into time zones which makes it easy to find. People can then use this application to create albums and organize them and share it with friends and family. Moments has made it easy to look through old photos which have been tucked away in your phone. That does not mean it cannot be shared on Facebook, it’s just that people now have an option to keep it on this stand-alone platform. Recently moments also introduced a feature which uses machine learning to create a montage of all relevant images in the form of a shareable video. This gave the application an edge over its competitors.

Facebook understood the psyche of their users and realized that photos are a part of their memories, this demanded a dedicated platform. Instagram is good but it’s just another Facebook for photo sharing. Instagram allows people to follow each other and share photos. Although, people wanted a way to keep some photos private and safe. In earlier days, the old photo albums were kept in the room’s closet. Whenever a need to share and re-live the moments a-raised, the case full of those albums is taken out and shared with everyone. The same idea has been used in ‘Memory’ the only difference being that it is digital. I was going through all my old shared photos on facebook reliving all the cherished memories in my life. That is when I realized there is more to this story which I haven’t shared and don’t want it to be public. ‘Memory by facebook’ installed!

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