Facebook’s “Look Back” goes viral


For its tenth birthday, Facebook gave everyone using it a gift. Customized look back videos that were created in a jiffy, and shared exhaustively across the social media platform’s feeds. Social media is, at its core, all about sharing stuff. But nothing has come close to the unilateral impact of Facebook’s “inside wink” known as “Look Back.” The video concept quickly employed user-uploaded content to create similar, evocative one-minute videos.

And even I, Ronn Torossian did my Facebook movie – and offered insight into the priceless PR benefits of Facebook’s free gift. More than anything else, the significance of this public relations win is in the simple fact that, for the most part, Facebook invited everyone to participate in a daylong “moment” of content sharing, created, and captivated by their programmers in their forum.

People not only willingly responded to the campaign, they never believed it wasn’t about them, and their memories. The idea that this was smart marketing campaign never entered into most people’s minds. They just basked in the emotions, and passed them along. Meanwhile, Facebook was experiencing a mass moment of response to its content. Massive time on site, massive numbers of click-thrus, and massive content marketing opportunities across the board.

And then the other shoe dropped. Days later, Facebook announced that people can now “edit” their videos. This option is all but irresistible for people who loved their videos, but had favorite photos excluded. Now, the tens of millions of users who uploaded videos will spend time on Facebook tinkering, and playing with their videos. That means yet more time on site, and platform interactivity. Click thrus, and time on site are the gold standard of measuring web impact.

With this one simple “gift”, Facebook has already taken its ‘net dominance, and raised the bar even further.

However, Facebook, did hit a slight PR snafu with their latest site-wide feature. With their latest Year In Review feature, Facebook allowed users to take a trip back and view images uploaded to the site during the past year. In premise it seemed like a great idea; however – not everyone had the best year. Allowing this feature to be curated through an algorith, some users were forced to view painful memories of lost friends, loved ones and more. Perhaps Facebook should have allowed users to hand pick which images they wanted to display and showcase to their friends on the network.

About Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations. He is an experienced leader in the public relations industry with over 20 years of experience. Ronn Torossian has been named as Public Relations executive of the year by the American Business Awards, and has run countless award-winning Public Relations programs.

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and Chairman of 5WPR, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America’s most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company’s growth, overseeing more than 275 professionals. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named “PR Agency of the Year” by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world’s most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine’s Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Torossian is known as one of the country’s foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations,” which is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.

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