• 12/28/2012
    3:35 PM
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Happy New Year, Via Facebook

Auld acquaintance won't be forgot with Facebook's New Year's Midnight Delivery service.
My grandmother had a tradition of opening the front door at the stroke of midnight on New Year's. That way, she said, the old year could get out while you welcomed in the new one. I continued that tradition for a long time, until it got harder and harder to make it up until midnight. This year, however, I can start a new midnight tradition that won't require toothpicks holding up my eyelids: Facebook's New Year's Midnight Delivery service.

Part of Facebook Stories, Facebook's New Year's Midnight Delivery service lets users write New Year's greetings and have them automatically sent to their friends at midnight in each person's respective time zone.

Facebook suggests friends to send the greetings to, but the list seems to be completely random. (It's not organized by, say, people you are in contact with the most on the network or whose last name you share.) The network even suggests the wording of the message: "Have a Happy New Year and a great 2013!" Of course, you can choose whom you send the message to and what you say to those people. You can also attach photos to your greeting -- maybe for those friends who did not catch your Facebook Year in Review.

Will you be ensuring that auld acquaintance not be forgot with Facebook's New Year's Midnight Delivery service? For that matter, did Facebook take the place of personal and corporate holiday cards this year? Please let us know in the comments section below.

And, while it may not be midnight, here's to a great 2013!

Follow Deb Donston-Miller on Twitter at @debdonston.

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re: Happy New Year, Via Facebook

Mashable reported earlier today that the Facebook New Year's Midnight Delivery service was taken down temporarily when a student discovered a flaw in the system that would enable users to see others' messages. Said the student, Jack Jenkins, in his blog: "Facebook, however, has not been very security-conscious when setting this up. By simple manipulation of the ID at the end of the URL of a sent message on the FacebookStories site, you are able to view other people's Happy New Year messages. At least I was when I edited the ID for myself." The Facebook service is now back up. (Jenkins' full blog post is at

Deb Donston-Miller
Contributing Editor, The BrainYard

re: Happy New Year, Via Facebook

That is a nice way to wish everyone I do not have the chance to see or to stay on the phone until 1:00am wishing everyone an Happy New Year. In addition to friends you have to wish your family a Happy New Year, it happens to be my mother;s birthday which turns into an hour conversation. Cards that are delivered through traditional mail services are always welcome at my house instead of a Facebook greeting. I would rather put the card on the dining room table and view it all season long, plus it is more personal.

Paul Sprague
InformationWeek Contributor