Timehop: A Walk Down Social Memory Lane
Posted by Patrick Wentling
Social media content is always begging the question, what’s next? Tweets, videos, Instagrams, blog posts, it’s all very real-time. Rarely is there a look back, unless it is part of a year in review style piece that we’ve seen all too much this time of year.
But nostalgia is powerful. It brings back memories, emotions, and can remind you of the good and bad times in your life as well as helping inform your future decisions. The proliferation of online content makes it easy to revisit days, months, and even years gone by.
There’s an app called Timehop I’ve been using for a while that I wanted to share. Formerly known as “Four Square and Seven Years Ago,” this app digs into your old tweets, Facebook pictures, check-ins, images taken on your phone, and more to give you a glimpse into your online activity on this particular day through the years.
It makes it easy for me to go back and see what I shared on this day last year, the year prior, all the way back to my social media infancy six years ago and see what (regretful) shenanigans I was up to in college.
A lot of my shares are related to music, sports, or TV. Most mornings I check in with TimeHop to see where I was mentally and reflect on how different I am now.
Using TimeHop makes me think more now before I share. For example, do I really need to tweet about Bruce Springsteen every day? While I stand behind every Springsteen tweet I have sent, there are times after TimeHopping where I ask myself “Was I thinking before I hit tweet?!”
We’re in the business of reputation and software like Timehop allows seamless access to your past like never before. It provides a history of not just your reputation today, but your reputation from years back. For some, that can be dangerous territory (thankfully, I’m pretty clean.)
For brands, Timehop can serve as a way to easily access stories and work shared over social in the past making the life of a community manager easier. Perhaps there are opportunities to revisit that content and update it for today, or even use it as a reflection piece? If you’re in the business of predicting trends, how did you do?
Timehop also breathes pragmatism into a somewhat overused buzz word in “Big Data” by allowing brands to tap into users’ archives of shared content. Did you tweet about going skiing last winter? A ski company could offer you a deal on another trip. Got a new iPad this day last year? iPad case companies could suggest you buy a new case. The issue of privacy obviously comes up, but there’s certainly an opportunity if it is done in an authentic manner.
As with many tech products, you only get out of it as much as you put in. For those that invest the time, Timehop offers a unique look down social-memory lane that can help you improve your content moving forward. Download Timehop for iPhone [non iPhone-users can still use the e-mail version.]