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This article was published on January 6, 2013

5 fun ways to travel back in time with your social data

5 fun ways to travel back in time with your social data
Mark Krynsky
Story by

Mark Krynsky

Mark Krynsky created and writes about social data aggregation, lifelogging, quantified self, and digital preservation. He Mark Krynsky created and writes about social data aggregation, lifelogging, quantified self, and digital preservation. He also Manages web production for the X PRIZE Foundation. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.


Sharing on social services is second nature nowadays for most people but revisiting old memories still isn’t something most people bother to do. Part of this is because many services don’t offer an easy way to do it. Here are some fun ways to go back and relive those memories from years gone by.


I’ll start this off by mentioning Timehop, which is a service that was created specifically to bring your old memories across many social services back to you. The service supports Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Instagram, and Flickr. In the case of Twitter they’ve recently added support for full archives. Besides social services, they also have support for your archive of phone text messages.

After you’ve connected your services you will be presented with a stream of your posts from a year ago on a daily basis through the service. Individual items in the stream can then be shared to Facebook, Twitter or by email. You can also favorite that item on Timehop and are provided with a link to the original post. Another nice feature is the ability to have your memories get delivered daily by email.

If the desktop isn’t your thing there is an iOS app that you can use that will provide push notifications so you don’t miss those daily trips down memory lane. The mobile app also turns it into a community by letting you add friends so you can reminisce together viewing your historic posts.


I mentioned in a recent post on smart journals and beyond all of those features, it also offers the ability to have an email sent daily to revisit your old memories. However, it takes it a bit further by providing not just a memory from a year ago, but multiple memories on that same day going back multiple years. Pretty nifty.



If you have email notifications set up on Foursquare you will be provided with a section called “Foursquare Time Machine” which will provide a previous check-in. To receive these go to your settings page and click on notifications. From there make sure that you’ve opted to receive the email option “Send me weekly updates about what my friends are up to”.


If you want a beautiful visual timeline of your social data across multiple services you should take a look at Memolane. In addition to importing your old data and laying it out in an easy way to travel back manually, they offer the ability to also have emails delivered to you daily. Just go to the settings page and under notificatons check the box for “MemoMail”. They also have a unique app for Android called Memoshake. The app allows you to shake your device much the same way as a magic 8 ball to load new memories from your stream.



A new service called Vizify launched this year which takes your social data and lets you create an interactive infographic from the data. It makes for a fun way to view interesting data and patterns from your data. They just recently launched a new feature that breaks down your Twitter stream for the year by providing you details on your top followers, most used keywords and hashtags, and you can even manually view all of your tweets on a visual timeline. You can create yours by visiting this link or you can look at an example by visiting mine.

Do you know of any other ways to revisit old data from social services? Post them in the comments.

Image Credit: Aris Messinis/Getty Images