Facebook added Anniversaries to its account settings this week, indicating a sensitivity to the requests of its users. If you are in a relationship (married, or in a relationship with your significant other), you can now mark the anniversary of your relationship to your profile. The new setting is found under “Family and Relationship in your account settings.
The new addition to the Facebook profile info both displays the pertinent date to others that can see your profile, and acts as a reminder for those that need a little nudge when that time of year swings back around.
This anniversary setting not only indicates Facebook’s growing sensitivity to the needs of its users, but it also displays the potential behind Facebook to become even more of a personal organizational tool regarding the relationships and associated actions needed to maintain our relationships.
While you can get a reminder for the anniversary marked on your own profile, Facebook is still working on making anniversary reminders available to others in your network. Such notification integration would really make things easier for those that would like to stay on top of friends’ and colleagues’ personal occasions in order to manage their relationship with that person. To others, however, the inclusion of yet another personal occasion reminder sounds overwhelming when you consider the prominence of Birthday reminders.
The reason this update is important is because it demonstrates Facebook’s ability and desire to become more of a personal organization tool for managing our relationships. While the update doesn’t particularly render any major features for doing so right now, it could easily be integrated into other existing Facebook apps offered directly through Facebook (i.e. Events), or through third party developers.
It may seem like a small change, but it could also be the beginning of many more things to come. Marking kids’ birthdays, personal milestones and other related occasions could become a necessary networking tool for some, facilitating additional activity within the Facebook site all the while.
As this could eventually pertain to larger virtual goods efforts introduced by Facebook in the future, the encouraging of acknowledgeable, personal occasions could mean big business for Facebook itself. What consumers should keep in mind, however, is the recent changes to Facebook’s privacy settings. As profiles are now public by default and are shifted in terms of their ability to hid specific information, resist the temptation to add info to your profile until you’ve fully explored your privacy options within the Facebook network.
The motive of monetary growth can be applied to Facebook’s new feature roll out as well as its prodding of adding more info to your more-public profile. To make matters stickier, the sincerity of Birthday greetings on Facebook walls have already been questioned by many. This is especially true as several third party apps attempt to generate revenue from the desire to send others our well wishes along with the sheer mass of birthday greetings can be considered less than genuine in the digital realm. Anniversaries have to face the dangers of being misconstrued in a similar fashion.
Additional management tools could help both birthdays and anniversaries from meeting a dire fate, as sync options with our personal calendars, mobile phone address books and other relationship and productivity managers simplify the process of staying on top of all our acquaintances’ personal occasions. Initially we’ll have to rely on third party developers to offer this level of integration, though later renditions and more cooperative efforts between major platforms eventually make the integration more seamless.
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