Meta has launched new ‘Year in Review’ elements on both Facebook and Instagram, which provide users with an overview of some of the key moments they’ve shared on each platform throughout 2021 – which, I maintain, does not feel like it’s been a full year.
As you can see here, the new ‘Playback’ feature on Instagram will showcase Stories highlights from the past 12 months, providing a nostalgic look at a year that probably involved a lot of sitting on your couch.
The function uses your Stories Archive to piece together the visual summary, and users are then able to select up to 10 Stories from their collection which they can share with their friends as a summary of their experience.
On Facebook, a new ‘Year Together’ option will highlight ‘friends, feelings, places and people’ that you engaged with throughout 2021.
It’s a little schmaltzy, and these types of highlight features can quickly become overwhelming when they’re released to all users all at once, but lots of people do engage with Facebook’s ‘On This Day’ reminders, so it will likely be a winner, and will help invoke positive memories for users of each app.
But again, it could get annoying, seeing so many of these highlight reels in your feeds.
I would also note that these are exactly that, highlight reels, with most users not posting their low points and challenges to social apps. So if you end up looking at someone’s year in review and you feel like they’re doing more than you are, remember that everyone faces challenges and difficulties, all the time, even if they’re not posting them.
Facebook’s ‘Year Together’ is available until December 30, and Instagram’s ‘Playback’ will be available ‘for several weeks’.