Facebook plans to turn the News Feed into a personalized video channel but is facing a roadblock in the form of “happy birthday” messages, which until recently have almost completely taken the ancient form of text. Now this will start to change with the launch of a new feature inside the flagship app called “birthday video cam,” which allows users to record 15-second videos for friends.
New way to wish HBD
Birthday video cam, which works only for iOS for now, appears on your friends’ profiles on their birthday. Click, and you can record your message. You can also swipe through a series of birthday themes to make the messages more creative before posting it on the friend’s timeline.
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Since the early days of Facebook, it has given us a fair alert before friends’ birthdays, thus starting the practice of posting something on their wall. It is always nice to look through the posts on your day, count them and compare the number to the previous years to check if your social life is up and to the right or in need of some restructuring. However, the habit has lost some of its luster over the years. Maybe Birthday Cam can breathe some new life into one of social networking site’s oldest rituals.
“Having [my friends] post ‘HBD’ on my wall is awesome,” Henry Soong, a creative tools product manager said. “But what’s better than to actually see someone wishing you ‘Happy Birthday?'”
What’s in it for Facebook?
Its no secret why Facebook is coming up with this new way of wishing the birthday. Birthday greetings are among the most popular posts for its 1.6 billion users. In January alone, over 100 million birthday greetings were posted on the platform, up 60% from two years ago.
Considering that most people on Facebook watch videos without sound, it will be helpful to hold up a board with a written message in the video. For those who do not mind sound, users can add music. The view count of the video will then rise along with the video’s viral coefficient, and your friend will be happy with the popularity and the increased engagement on his/her profile.
Even if you are just saying “happy birthday” and sending it, it will be more unique than typing it, so this feature will surely be popular among users.