Facebook Displays Old Status Updates in Memorable Stories Sidebar Module

Facebook is testing a new Memorable Stories sidebar module which shows users four of their old status updates and when they were posted. The module is sometimes displayed in the right sidebar when users click “View Post” on a news feed or wall story. In some cases, users can click on the post’s timestamp to view the original post, complete with Likes, comments, and an additional set of Memorable Stories. In other cases, clicking through a post returns an error.

Memorable Stories breaks from the typical reverse chronological ordering of Facebook content and instead helps users consume a succesion of their best posts from across the years, and increasing time-on-site.

The feature doesn’t just show updates which received multiple Likes and comments, but rather pulls a random assortment of old status updates. In that way it’s more like flipping to a page of an old diary than a collection of your most popular or relevant posts. Users can click an ‘x’ next to stories to remove one and see another.

With time, Facebook may improve the feature by changing it to only show posts with Likes. It could also apply natural language processing to attempt to weed out posts with negative sentiment.

So far we’ve only seen Memorable Stories from as far back as 2008, though Facebook has clearly saved all of our content since you can download a copy. Apparently, the module can display status updates a user had removed from their wall, which some may have thought meant they had deleted. This could irk some users who wanted to permanently retract a a previous statement

Memorable Stories will be enjoyable for most, though some might not want to be reminded of more difficult times by seeing status updates they posted while stressed, depressed, or angry, or even from happy times that have since passed.

Facebook’s Photo Memories sidebar module would often show images of a user’s old romantic partners, leading to hurt feelings and strong negative feedback on the feature. Facebook responded by changing Photo Memories so it wouldn’t display photos of people users were previously listed as in a relationship with. It will be interesting to see if some users have similar negative reaction to Memorable Stories about how in love they were with a past partner, or how tough it was when they lost their job.

Memorable Stories addresses the issue that the most recent content on Facebook is not always the most compelling. By processing Likes, comments and tags to determine a post’s relevancy, Memorable Stories could show the best of your entire life on Facebook, just as the news feed does for your past week.

[Thanks to Brittany Darwell and Imogen for the tips.]

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15 Responses to “Facebook Displays Old Status Updates in Memorable Stories Sidebar Module”

  1. imogen says:

    Unfortunately, “memorable stories” also shows me my DELETED statuses. So what is deleted is not really deleted at all ….

    Facebook’s privacy policy says they retain backups of your deleted content for 90 days. However “memorable stories” show me statuses I deleted a year ago. Does anyone know if it’s even legal for them to store my deleted content like this? I think I will be getting rid of my facebook :/

  2. Josh Constine says:

    @Imogen: It appears that removing a post from one’s wall is different from deleting it. Thanks for the heads up.

  3. Fadi says:

    In my case I don’t get the date of my post under the story
    and clicking the link only redirects me to my profile page
    hope they improve it, it’s a nice idea :)

  4. Kim says:

    I want to know how to remove this!

  5. amp says:

    how do you opt out?

  6. Hal says:

    I find it rather stupid, since I only use Facebook to play the games. Most/all of my Status Posts are game related and therefor more time specific. Seems like Facebook could find better uses of the site. I don’t care for the photos from my friends either. I wish they’d give us the option to NOT view these AT ALL. :/

  7. Josh Constine says:

    This is no way to opt out or remove this feature.

  8. beci says:

    Why don’t I have a memorable stories feature on my facebook??

  9. dariob says:

    “Memorable Stories”!! Like my first FB app developed about 2years ago… “I Told You, the Facebook status extractor” with this app you can check all your status updates, often very old…
    But unlike “Memorable Stories”, with “I Told You” you can read all your updates with relative likes and comments, you can export all your status in nice eBook pdf or .doc and .txt, you can explore status updates from your friends posted before your friendship with a FB friend, you can also send a status diary as gift to your friends. In the next weeks will be relased another version and you can add a comment to very old status…
    Check with “I Told You” if some deleted updates still exists…
    Hope will be useful for someone!!

  10. Joyce Clifford says:

    For some of us, deleted status updates were deleted for a reason, and I know I don’t want to see any of mine. I don’t normally bother to delete them otherwise.

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