For anyone who has spent time on Facebook in the past week, it has been impossible to avoid the avalanche of “A Look Back” videos that people have unleashed on their News Feeds. They collect a person’s history of posting to Facebook, and turn it into a one-minute-long nostalgia-fest, or at least, that was the idea behind it.
As with any system that’s designed to automatically create greatest hits of a user’s social media profile, it can go awry, which is why Facebook has added the ability to edit what images and posts populate a user’s video.
That’s good news for people looking to customize what people see before sharing their video with friends. In my case, a significant chunk of the photo tiles in one part of the video were taken up by images of a dinner that I had cooked and uploaded to Facebook in order to test a product for a review. Thanks to Facebook’s change, I don’t need to bore anyone with relatively inconsequential pieces of asparagus.
Of course, my case isn’t nearly as extreme as other users, who might not want their pimply-faced first profile picture to be front-and-center, or would rather leave out posts that don’t show them in the best light.
Still, the lack of customization hasn’t been stopping people from sharing. A Facebook representative told the Los Angeles Times that the company had rendered hundreds of millions of videos so far. Users interested in viewing their videos can do so for the next month, and after that, the only way to save them is by posting them to their timeline.
To try out Facebook’s “A Look Back” editor for yourself, visit facebook.com/lookback.