On Thursday, Facebook turned 12 and with its birthday reigned in another "Friends Day," now with videos.
"Today, February 4, marks Facebook’s 12th birthday. Each year we recognize this day as Friends Day and invite the world to celebrate and reflect on the importance of connecting," said Facebook in a blog post. "When people connect, powerful things happen and lives are changed… whether it's an exchange with an old friend that brings a smile to your face or a new connection that changes your life path, or even the world." These connections have also had an effect on the degrees of separation statistic. For years, "six degrees of separation" was seen as the standard, meaning that anyone can find a link to anyone else on Earth through just six acquaintances. Now, Facebook says this number has been greatly reduced: "Today we're announcing that during that same time period, the degrees of separation between a typical pair of Facebook users has continued to decrease to 3.57 degrees."
To celebrate its 12th birthday and Friends Day, Facebook has also launched a new Friends Day tool. "To help our community celebrate the importance of friendship, we're delivering a personalized Friends Day video to millions of people around the world," said Facebook. The company used an algorithm to develop these videos and not all of them were successful. Some videos mistakenly used only selfies, while others included bitter exes, lost connections, and bad memories with happy Friends Day-themed cards in the mix. Back in 2014, Facebook had a similar snafu with its "Year in Review" videos which proclaimed, "It's been a great year, thanks for being a part of it!" For some, these yearly recap videos were full of loss and hardships. It seems algorithms still have a ways to go for recapping our happy memories.
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