Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has had more than 60 million people visit the “on this day” feature on its platform, with a further 155 million subscribed to its notifications. The feature can show you photos, status, updates and wall posts from the years past for s particular day. However, Facebook allegedly stole the idea from a small startup called Timehop.
The small startup, Timehop, started in 2011, and its figures show that by the end of 2014, they had at least 12 million registered users with 6 million daily users. This is in contrast with Facebook figures which show that they started in 2015. Facebook released their data on the one-year anniversary of the launch of the nostalgia feature.
Timehop’s CEO Jonathan Wegener downplayed Facebook’s move into their playground at the time saying, “My general feeling is that this is awesome validation that we’re doing something worth doing. One of our investors put it nicely that if Facebook isn’t playing in your space, you’re probably not doing something worth doing.” The startup has been boosted by the money it raised which totaled $14.1 million with a considerable sum of $10 million coming from Shasta Ventures in July 2014.
Facebook has used its enormous customer base, which is roughly 1.59 billion to promote and enhance it’s On this Day feature. The feature has been able to reach five times the number of people on Facebook because of the adverts on News Feed of Facebook. Timehop offers memory posts from other platforms also like Twitter, but Facebook seems to have gotten a stronghold because people don’t feel like switching applications with heavy users of Facebook feeling better using it.
Facebook claims it has employed Artificial Intelligence, to help it rank and list posts you see in On this Day. The company also explains that the last year was spent improving the feature so as not to allow events that might be considered sad for you to pop up. They have gone a step further by also removing posts with people considered ex-lovers or people you have blocked. It’s personalizing the feature based on users past use and demographic.
Facebook’s history and foundation of 12 years are enough to garner supporters for it with every feature they start. Smaller companies like Timehop might be able to do the job but because of Facebook’s experience they might bring out the best photos with your friends rather than these funny pictures with acquaintances.