Facebook is constant in its pursuit to appeal to everyone.
Now, this extends to the broken-hearted.
After months of tweaking in beta form, Facebook revealed its new “Days Since She Loved You” feature, a small box that keeps time, to the second, since the last time she truly felt she loved you.
Facebook engineer Kathryn Grint spearheaded the project. She said it was the result of “a lot of sweat and tears.”
“Not as many tears as there are to come, we hope,” Grint said. “We really want Facebook to become a center of emotion for its users, and sometimes, that requires that we toy with some negative emotions. We like to think this feature will make people feel too alone and worthless to even visit other websites anymore.”
Grint explained the algorithm that goes into the feature’s ability to calculate love and whether it still exists.
“Alright, so when a couple breaks up, we assume there’s still remnants of love there, so the box won’t come up yet,” she said. “After a couple weeks, Facebook will start keeping track of a few relative variables, including how often she still visits your page, how often she visits the page of another potential lover and how often she uses your name in her messages to other friends.
“As those numbers decrease, that’s when we start to assume she no longer feels anything for you, or for what you were together,” Grint said.
When the box does appear, it’s in the upper left hand corner of the screen beneath the general “Facebook” button. In addition to the climbing clock, there’s also a direct link to her profile and other occasional reminders of her that Grint said “will increase in intensity over time, making it harder to get over her.
“Anything that’ll keep you on Facebook longer,” Grint said. “Markie’s [Zuckerberg] pretty ecstatic right now.”
Carl Riverdi, a sophomore history major at UNL, already has experience with a couple of these reminders.
“Ashley broke up with me in October,” Riverdi said. “The clock has been there since the feature came out, already with two months of time accumulated. Yesterday, the feature linked me to a video it had taken from her phone of the two of us laughing at the beach last summer.”
Riverdi said that while it was hard to look at these items and not feel like “the abyss was approaching fast,” it did keep him on Facebook longer.
“This morning, it had a picture that was just the color of her hair,” he said. “Jesus, it was exactly that shade, too.”