Facebook’s nifty Year In Review feature is some mighty fine nostalgia; it generates an infographic of the top moments from 2012 in your life and the lives of your friends — even the lives of total strangers. Fun!
If you go to Facebook’s Year In Review app, you’ll first see your own 2012 in pictures, life events, and updates. Facebook programmatically takes a look at your posts from the past 12 months and highlights the 20 “biggest” moments, as judged by responses from your social network, as well as a shifting mosaic of images from your 2012.
It’s a quick scroll down memory lane. But wait! You don’t have to stop at mere narcissism; you can up the ante with a little friend-stalking, too!
In the URL bar, just add the Facebook screen name of the person you want to stalk. For example, my husband’s Facebook URL is https://facebook.com/gotwalt. So to see his year in review, I would just type https://www.facebook.com/yearinreview/gotwalt into the address bar. Hope there are no surprises, right?
But the fun continues. Facebook will also show you Year In Review infographics for anyone you like. Just plug the username into the URL, and any publicly posted data is yours for the stalking. Enter the username “zuck” into the URL, and you can check out big life events for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (spoiler alert: his company went public and he got married).
This feature only works for personal profiles, not Pages — so sorry, you can’t Year-In-Review-stalk Rihanna or Coca Cola or anything like that.
Kids, let this be a gentle reminder to carefully guard your personal information and life events on the Internet. Everything you post on Facebook has its own privacy settings; be sure you’re using appropriate, conservative settings that won’t let strangers (or creepy exes) have unwarranted access to your private life. And if you haven’t been, maybe it’s time for some digital housecleaning and a privacy-oriented resolution for 2013.