In what could be one of Linkin Park‘s biggest digital undertakings, producers of the band’s new Lost In The Echo had to devise a way to use viewers’ available Facebook data to create completely unique experiences for everyone.

The latest video from the Living Things is set inside an abandoned Detroit church, post Apocalypse. The subjects in the video come across photographs of friends, memories rather. But here’s where it gets personal. The photos held by the actors are powered by the viewers’ Facebook friends.

According to Mike Shinoda, Linkin Park’s co-frontman, the band wanted to “make a personal connection” with their 44 million Facebook fans.

The video’s co-director Jason Nickel tells Wired that the goal wasn’t to just pull in available Facebook data as a gimmick. “We’re trying to tie your personal life into the actual story, so that it’s logical and it seems like it was actually created for you rather than kind of shoehorned in there just because we could do it,” says Nickel.

The digital team wrestled with the code before getting it just right. Ensuring that the system targeted personal photos of friends and family, rather than a pet or inanimate object was paramount. Facebook doesn’t filter any personal data. The video’s development team had to write their own code in order to sort through the raw Facebook data (tagged photos) to create the results they were looking for. The band even used their own private Facebook accounts to test the system and weed out bizarre and sometimes hilarious results. In the end, viewers must be shown photos that will cause an emotional reaction.

For the full interactive experience, Lost In The Echo must be viewed by logging in with Facebook at Users report the best experience is achieved with the Google Chrome browser.

— Jay Tilles, CBS Local


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