Facebook's 'On This Day' helps you relive the past

The new feature shows you updates, photos and other posts from the current date in past years.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Facebook's new "On This Day" feature lets you relive the past. Facebook

You can travel back in time to a certain day via a new Facebook feature.

Known as "On This Day," the feature displays status updates, photos, posts from friends, and other items that you shared or appeared in on this date in the past, Facebook said Tuesday. For example, you can travel back to today's date a year ago, two years ago, three years ago and all the way back to when you first joined Facebook.

Facebook, which now counts almost 1 billion members worldwide, has been busy trying to cook up new features to keep current users engaged and to lure in new ones. The more people who use the social network on a regular basis, the more advertising they see, and the more Facebook's ad-driven revenues rise.

Some recently added features take a very personal approach, such as expanding support for people who may be suicidal. Others are useful in a more pedestrian way, such as a caller ID app reportedly in the works.

Facebook is hosting its F8 developers conference this week in which it hopes to generate more interest among app developers. The more apps the company can offer to draw in users, the more time they spend on the site, and again, the more advertising they see.

On This Day is in the more-personal category. By default, you alone are able to view the updates and photos from a date back in time, though you can also share your day with friends. You can also edit or delete posts from the date just in case you find something you'd rather not keep alive on Facebook.

To view your On This Day page, you can click the On This Day bookmark in Facebook, search for "On This Day," or visit the On This Day page directly. For more information on the feature, check Facebook's On This Day help page.

Facebook said that it's been testing the feature and has started to roll it out globally to both its website and mobile app. That means some of you may not see it just yet. I clicked the On This Day link for my Facebook account, and the site told me that currently the feature isn't available to everyone. So if you can't access it, you may need to wait a few days and try again.