A lot can happen in a year. Timehop, formerly known as 4squareand7yearsago, is a small startup that will send you a daily e-mail of where you were or what you did exactly one year ago according to your social media activities. This could include your Foursquare check-ins, Facebook status updates, tweets, or Instagram photos. Now, the service is updating to add an even more personal touch to your daily past: Your text messages.
Announced via its blog, Timehop will send you a random conversation from your text message history — of course, with your permission for the site to access that information.
“Your text messages are a rich part of our personal history. They capture the most important parts of our lives—the moments and stories shared with close friends,” the Timehop blog states. “But they’re usually trapped in our phones with no way to get them out. With the release of Timehop Sync, we’re letting our users unlock that rich history.”
Timehop has been getting relatively positive reviews from the nostalgic especially those who are involved with social media or have gone through a big year. I, for one, can certainly say this past year has been quite huge for me and a daily reminder of where I was in 2011 would probably make me laugh at how young I was. The service could even lend a bigger shock if it could bring back memories of what happened more than a year ago, when I was still in college. Of course, this addition of text messages memory would probably make matters even more embarrassing but hopefully also endearing.
“Nicole Thomas, 23, an art director from Brooklyn, said she nearly cried when Timehop reminded her of her good fortune in landing a job last year,” The New York Times reported. “Austin Sevener, 26, a survey programmer in Fort Worth, said he hadn’t realized that he had bought his wedding ring on the same day as a lunar eclipse.”
The idea for Timehop stems from the Internet adaptation of physical journals. ”For centuries, long before the internet existed, people have kept diaries and taken photographs. They do this to document their lives, so they can look back later,” Timehop founder and CEO Jonathan Wegener said in a Quora thread. “Looking back is a really pleasurable activity, and it’s hard to explain why. Personally I think, in some weird way, that looking back makes us feel like we can control the passing of time.”
The startup began humbly last year, and received $1.1 million in funding this past January. Since then, several services have tried to replicate the concept. If you’re looking for more than just the major social media activities, Memolane will aggregate everything you’ve ever done on the Web, including via Flickr, YouTube, Google+, Tumblr, Last.fm, WordPress, and more. Are you nostalgic enough, or afraid of what might be brought back to life?