Facebook is doing its very best not to make you terribly sad.
You see, it used to constantly show you photos of your ex, which might have reminded you just how great things were before he or she dumped you, but it has stopped that now. Exes no longer show up in the “Photo Memories” box.
Photo Memories appear in the top right corner of some Facebook pages, including the Friends and Photos sections.
They show your friends tagged in photos long-forgotten, but the friends shown are picked using Facebook’s algorithm for figuring out whose updates you’re most interested in.
The exact nature of the algorithm is unclear, but check it out and you’ll notice one pattern: It tends to show romantic interests a lot.
Is it because you’ve clicked through their photos before? Because you exchange wall messages? Who knows, but it happens — and that’s all well and good until you break up. Once it’s over, though, it can be painful to see all those pictures.
Users created a group to protest Photo Memories for that very reason. It caught the attention of not only the media, but of Facebook Photos Project Manager Sam Odio.
Yesterday he commented on a post about the issue over at All Facebook, saying, “I’d like to let you know that we’re listening to your feedback. The photo memories product no longer shows tagged photos of your friends if you were previously in a relationship with them.”
It’s a welcome change, but it doesn’t completely solve the problem. What if you never declared a relationship on Facebook? Or what if it’s showing you your current squeeze (and it will — only about 1 in 10 photos the box shows me now are of anyone other than my girlfriend) with one of his or her exes? That’s no fun either.
We’d love to see a way to tweak exactly who can or can’t be seen in this box, but we’ll admit most people wouldn’t use it. Most people just don’t manage their Facebook data that carefully.