Hey, “Happy Birthday” is now in the public domain, and Facebook wants to encourage us all to make our interactions more personal as well as stream more videos at us, so what’s the perfect combination of those things? Encouraging us to leave impersonal birthday messages to people we haven’t seen in years in video form, not text.
I may be a little cynical about this endeavor, since I am not fond of birthdays, of being serenaded, or of online videos that don’t feature dogs, cats, or babies. If you’re actually a thoughtful person, the feature is rolling out for iOS in an app update today, and for Android in an app update sometime in the next few months.
It’s called Birthday Cam, and will encourage you to record a short video (up to 15 seconds) greeting for your friends, your ex-roommates, and a person who may have been in your 10th grade Spanish class. It has festive birthday frames that you can use to decorate the image, and might make Facebook birthdays a slightly less soulless endeavor. Slightly.