It is almost February 4th – you know that that means…
If you do not, do not worry. You may not have realized it, but February 4th is actually Friends Day.
Why have not you heard of Friends Day before?
Because FB made it up – though given the platform’s growing audience & influence, it might not be too long before Friends Day becomes a more recognized event.
Maybe Zuck will create it a national holiday when he becomes president.
February 4th 2017 marks the 13th birthday of FB, hence the celebration.
As explained by FB:
“Through friendship, our world grows more connected, powerful things can happen and lives, communities can be changed. Today, connecting is more necessary than ever. This Saturday, February 4, is Facebook’s 13th birthday, a day we call Friends Day. We will be sharing some stories of powerful connections made in the community, as well as launching products to celebrate friendship & encouraging people to take time to connect with many friends.”
To help users participate in the event, FB has provided a couple of new tools which are… well, they are something.
The first is an option to create a new video to celebrate all the connections you have made, and the events you have shared with them, on the platform.
You may have seen a notification like this at the top of your News Feed (do not worry if you have not, you will soon).
Okay, it is not that amazing – as noted by The Next Web:
“Last year, the first Friend’s Day video was born, a stitched-together video detailing happy times with relatives, friends, and that dude you drunk-added at a bar making an appearance in your special video. So as before, you will be stuck toughing it out with cheesy videos full of people you probably have not talked to in years for the next few days. Suck it up; it is Friends Day.”
Maybe I would not view it that skeptically, but ‘interesting’ is probably the best idea to describe it.
The idea is another way to boost sharing on the platform – as we reported recently, social platforms jab you with these prompts because they need you to arrange. And while you might think it is cheesy, no doubt some people will use it, and even if only a small percentage of users click-through & comment, it adds to Facebook’s data banks & engagement stats.
In addition, Facebook’s adding a prompt in Messenger to point users to Friendship Day themed GIFs.
You can join in the conversation by using the #Friendsday hashtag – which is considering, interesting that research has shown hashtags are largely ineffective on FB.
And while it is easy to dismiss these tools and poke fun at Facebook’s sometimes dorky sensibilities, it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on the fact that FB has now been around for 13 years. Think of that in the context of younger users – a good many people have now never known a time where FB didn’t exist.
What’s more, FB continues to go from strength to strength. Entire industries have been formed on The Social Network, which Zuckerberg founded in his college dorm room back in the early 2000’s.
You probably do not need a video of some… thing doing some kind of dance to highlight this, but it’s worth considering where our media landscape is now placed because of FB, and where it’s headed in future as a result.