Facebook has apologized for its “Year In Review” feature that was launched just before Christmas.
Year In Review’s algorithm selects user’s most-liked photos from every month of the year and combines them in a post called “The Year in Review”. The post appears on the user’s timeline, with an option to share publicly and a tag line saying: “Thanks for being a part of it.”
Facebook’s apology comes after complaints from users who say they were left feeling tragic rather than cheerful when they saw the post. Complaints from people like web designer Eric Meyer, who was reminded that the past year has not been great as described, but rather sad after he lost his 6-year-old child to brain cancer this year.
I didn’t go looking for grief this afternoon, but it found me anyway, and I have designers and programmers to thank for it. In this case, the designers and programmers are somewhere at Facebook, wrote Meyer in a blog post.
The Washington Post reported that Jonathan Gheller from Facebook reached out to Meyer and apologized.
[The app] was awesome for a lot of people, but clearly in this case we brought him grief rather than joy,” he told the Post. The team behind the app is considering ways to improve it for next time and will take Meyer’s concerns into account, he said, although he did not comment on if they would follow Meyer’s specific suggestions.
It’s valuable feedback, Gheller said. We can do better — I’m very grateful he took the time in his grief to write the blog post.