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Facebook: Where Friends Thank Their Friends for Being Friends



If your Facebook News Feed feels a little sappier than usual, you’re not imagining things.

The social network is encouraging users to “give thanks” for their friends and family members this month with a new feature that generates videos documenting their relationship on Facebook. The “Say Thanks” videos pull in photos and posts for a slideshow-style video that highlights the relationship between the two users. Users can edit which photos are included and then share it with others on Facebook.

The Say Thanks videos arrive just two weeks before Thanksgiving, and while there is certainly a tie-in with the holiday, the videos aren’t intended to be Thanksgiving-focused, according to creators Cameron Ewing, a design manager, and Nick Kwiatek, an engineer manager at the company.

For starters, they’re available worldwide, and the American holiday of Thanksgiving isn’t part of the video content, explains Ewing. Plus, the videos will likely be available after the holiday as well, he added.

If a prompt to thank your Facebook friends seems random, well, we wouldn’t disagree. But there’s likely another motivation for the company: Content creation. Facebook rolled out Look Back videos in honor of the company’s 10-year anniversary in February; imagine similar Facebook-generated slideshows, but featuring a single user instead of two. Ewing and Kwiatek, who also built Look Back, were pleased with the results and would love to duplicate that success.

More than 200 million people created Look Back videos in the feature’s first month, according to Facebook, and nearly half of those videos were shared with friends. Facebook has been pushing video content aggressively with the slow rollout of its new video ads, and creating more user-generated video will help users grow accustomed to seeing that type of content in their News Feed.

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