Facebook in the house: Social media giant hosts party at Missoula cookie shop

Mary’s Mountain Cookies co-owner Shelby McCracken takes a customer’s order during Friday’s Birthday Stories Giveaway Day. (Mari Hall/Missoula Current)

Facebook partnered with Mary’s Mountain Cookies on Friday to celebrate the social media behemoth’s new birthday stories feature.

Launched Thursday, the feature allows friends and family members create more personalized cards, photos and videos to send on someone’s birthday.

“The result is a happy birthday message that’s visual, memorable, interactive and fun – it’s like getting a personalized birthday card from everyone you care about, no matter where they are in the world,” Facebook product manager Jehan Damji said.

The site is partnering with a bakery in every state for its Birthday Stories Giveaway Day, and Mary’s Mountain Cookies was chosen to spread the word about birthday stories in Montana.

On Friday, the bakery gave away over 700 free cookies … and counting. The party was scheduled to last until 5 p.m.

“I think this is going to be great exposure for our business. I think we’ll have a lot of regular customers come in today and I think we’ll have a lot of new customers. Because of our location and all of the excitement that’s going on, I think it’s going to overflow into some of the other businesses downtown,” said Kara McCracken, co-owner of Mary’s Mountain Cookies.

Birthday stories allows users to shoot or upload a photo, short video, a digital birthday card and add music to give the story a “Happy Birthday” soundtrack. Then the message is added to the friend’s birthday story and creates a personalized slideshow for them.

“500 million people use Facebook Stories every day,” Damji said. “This community has shown us just how creative and thoughtful birthday wishes can be – whether with a series of funny photos or a video reminiscing about past birthdays spent together.”

The event is a great way to show Missoula and other communities that cookies are a fun (and scrumptious) way to celebrate any occasion, McCracken said.

“Cookies aren’t just for one type of person either, they’re for everybody,” she said.

Contact reporter Mari Hall at mari.hall@missoulacurrent.com.