Facebook Lookback

So who did it better? Google Year-in-Review, or Facebook Lookback?

Facebook is lousy with Lookback videos this week. To celebrate its 10th birthday, the social network put together (without asking, to the dismay of some) a retrospective of your life on Facebook from the moment you joined. 

It starts by reminding you what year you joined. (For me, that was March 2007.) Then your first moments on Faceook. Your most liked posts. And then, about a minute later, it closes with (what else) a thumbs up.

Google, for its part, in December did a sort of Google+ Year-in-Review, pulling together photos and video that you'd uploaded. You might not have shared them, but if they're in the system (and this is a reminder of how much gets sucked in through auto-backup), chances are you'll see something from the year gone by that you'd forgotten all about.

So which did a better job? Facebook Lookback? Or Google's Year-in-Review? We'll take a look, using my videos as examples.

(If you want to creep on other folks' public Lookback videos, you can do so with this link.)

Facebook Lookback

For its part, Facebook did a pretty nice job for my Lookback video. I don't really remember making those first posts, but, sure enough, I had a 17-month old daughter, already beginning to raise hell. No real complaints from me on the content of the video.

Sharing, though, was another matter. For some reason I didn't get a share button for a while. (And apparently I wasn't alone.) That changed, and so soon I could pollute my friends' timelines as well. But what if I want to share somewhere else? I can't seem to find a way to properly download my Facebook Lookback. There are websites out there that help facilitate it, but no big "Download!" button. I found code to embed it here, but, again, Facebook doesn't provide that.

(To embed video like we did here, use the following string of code, subbing in your unique video ID for the xxx: <iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/video/embed?video_id=XXX" width="720" height="1280" frameborder="0"></iframe>)

All in all, not horrible — but Facebook doesn't care about sharing video anywhere but on Facebook. And if you have kids, they'll dominate your Lookback. Not necessarily a bad thing, I guess.

Google+ year-end review

This pretty much speaks for itself. Another good look back — and I love how it includes video along with the still pictures. And becuase it's Google doing the heavy lifting, we get proper sharing through YouTube.  You have to save it from Google+ and then re-upload — ridiculous, but easy enough — and then share wherever you want. 

So what do you think? Did Faceook do a better job with Lookback than Google with its Year-in-Review?

There are 33 comments

brendilon says:

Year in Review, no contest.

rd_nest says:

For most people G+ year review will be completely blank.

My G+ year review will have 2 posts, 1 gif, and 2 photos.

mutestick says:

Missing the point. Of course there will be nothing, because you don't use it = GIVEN. Now compare to a person who uses G+ vs someone who uses facebook. Compare songs, length, what the services decides to use at content for the video, order, and transitions. I thought having post likes in facebook was good; in a regret I can't believe I said that way.

sprint4lyfe says:

Google+ was much better.

Cesar29 says:

G+ has video... they did it better and FIRST! lol

kingtigre says:

Year in Review's use of not only photos, but videos and auto awesome made for a more compelling and interesting video IMHO.

leif1981 says:

I liked the Google+ more for a few reasons:
- I prefer to see the content full-screen and not in some kind of frame
- it's nice that it combines photos and video
- I don't like that Facebook put shares in there which makes it less personal (in my opinion)
- the Facebook one felt more like an advertisement for Facebook to me. Sure, the G+ one had some kind of ad at the end as well, but the Facebook one had all these interruptions in between

B. Diddy says:

On both my Lookback and my wife's Lookback, the introductory photo of both of us cut off the tops of our heads. I also noted that on a friend's. Great software, FB.

mattbrich says:

G+ was WWWAAAYYY better for me.

Posted via Android Central App

kj11 says:

Google+ hands down

If I see one more of those Facebook videos in my news feed...

Posted using my Galaxy Note 3 via Android Central App

p5stover says:

Google put your life together. Facebook put your pictures together.

LeroyRJR says:


Posted via my outdated Droid RAZR Maxx HD using the Android Central App

ilovemagic says:

I gotta go with Google on this. The face book just didn't have the quality.

Posted via Android Central App

rap1 says:

I liked how facebook included your most liked posts and it was fun to see from when I first started using facebook. Google did a nice job including the video. Since I just got a smartphone though, most of my pictures are not in Google. I have a huge catalog of pictures in Photoshop Elements though. Most of my friends don't use Google+ so they wouldn't see it unless I shared it on facebook. How do you get to the year in review video on Google+ anyway?

emcknight23 says:

Google + but nice try facebook

dadathepanda says:

G+ but to their defense, g+ has most of my pics whereas FB barely any.

Posted via Android Central App

15israellai says:

Admittedly, fb is where most of my content is. So they win.

Posted via Android Central App

judasmachine says:

Well, aren't we splitting hairs here...

rmcccurry02 says:

How do you find google+ review???

LaMarcus says:

Once Facebook started showing all the movies I tried 3 times to post my G+ video to Facebook and for some reason I couldn't. I had to up load it to Youtube and post it that way. G+ is way better! http://youtu.be/ihiookz_lz8

kristof94 says:

Google+, because I didnt get a facebook one....then again i deleted my facebook account

Zig261 says:

Considering this is Android Central, i assume everyone will say Google+.

Jesse Travis says:

G+ was much better. They also made it so you can make those same kind of videos yourself useing the photos app on your phone. I just wish they would make it available in the browser on a pc.

Posted via Android Central App

How can i save the google + video? it doesn't appear in the web and in my phone i downloaded but it says that it can reproduce the video.

IMjBI says:


Tom Barnes3 says:

Loved what Google did with my year. FB did a decent enough job. The two things were quite different, one covering a short period if time with hi res pics and one covering a long period in low quality. All in all I prefer what Google did.

Posted via Android Central App

MrBucket85 says:

Google did a much better job of diving in with the year end review. Facebook just kinda taped some photos to a poster board and said, "Here ya go!"

The year in review is not so great if, for example, most of your pictures from the year also contain your ex. Oh well.

Cory S says:

Mystified why Google did the year in review before new years...right when people would be uploading all the pictures of how their year ended .

orlanka says:

I'm going to have to go with Facebook on this one. I have no idea where my Year in Review video is on G+ but it's obviously easy to find it on Facebook. G+ will have it's day but it's still got a ways to go.

RaffyC says:

I also waited for my own Google+ Year-in-review and never got it. I would have loved the element of surprise. Alas! Would have.

Meanwhile, I got the Facebook Lookback video and had the feels for it. I wasn't quite impressed with the fact that it took only content that came from me. My best memories in Facebook aren't from my own posts but from what my friends tagged me into. It could have done better.

nokedimyo says:

I vote for Google because Facebook uses flash for their videos so I can't view them. I refuse to use flash anymore.

Posted via Android Central App

Thank you for sharing. I'm a family man and it made me smile knowing one of my favorite writers is too. Wishing you and your family an amazing 2014! I like Google + better.

Posted via Android Central App

lrrowley says:

The Facebook one was better than I thought it would be, but it had about as much Facebook branding as actual content. The Facebook one was more generic as well and had less variety.

I really loved the Google+ one and still enjoying watching it. It so cleverly put together the videos, photos and Gifs. I think it was much better than its Facebook counterpart

Posted via Android Central App