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07 Feb 2014

Our PR influencer of the Week – John Berlin

Posted on February 7, 2014 by

With 1.23 billion active users, it would be wrong of me not to mention Facebook in our PR influencer post this week, as it has been celebrating its 10th anniversary. However, the social networking site will not be receiving our title. Instead, we’d like to honour John Berlin, someone who managed to influence Facebook itself.

Facebook chose to mark its 10th anniversary milestone with the launch of Look Back videos, a feature created to get its users misty-eyed with nostalgia as they watch their own 60 second clips presenting their biggest moments and highlights since they joined the site. Although, on the whole, I found my own video quite underwhelming, as I viewed photos and statuses with barely any likes and comments flash before my eyes to remind me of some shocking Facebook fails, I did become slightly sentimental as I saw my graduation photo appear.

These Look Back videos have now been shared by millions of users, who were proud of their time on the site (myself not included). But Facebook didn’t stop there.

Following an emotional appeal from a grieving father John Berlin, who had lost his son Jesse to natural causes, the site went on to create a video that would commemorate his life on Facebook before he died. Berlin simply sent out a request via YouTube which was then picked up by Reddit users and shared thousands of times, with the video itself generating around 1.5 million views. It was also featured in traditional and online media across the world, including Metro, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, USA Today, CNN and ABC News.

Facebook duly got in touch to say it would create the video through Jesse’s public posts.

Berlin was overwhelmed by the outcome and publicly thanked everyone who helped him in his quest to view his son’s best moments.

There is also some good news for those of you, like me, that wish they could change their videos. The site is in the process of enhancing the feature so that users can choose their clips and create their own. I will certainly be taking advantage of that!

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