Following in the footsteps of Snapchat, Facebook has been reported to be testing a mechanism that will let users make their posts disappear.
Snapchat exploited a different view of social media than the big sites like Facebook and Twitter, and made its content simply disappear after viewing. This form of cyber socialising quickly gained popularity, possibly due to its emphasis on ‘in the moment’ sharing making it stand out from the giants where each user builds up a history.
Now, following user requests, Facebook are supposedly testing ways to give people the option of making their posts more ephemeral and less concretely set in history, setting up a time for the posts to be automatically removed from their profile.
Apparently, the new feature is being tested in New Zealand, where new products and updates have been tested in the past, Facebook is testing an option for the iOS app that will let users schedule the deleting of a post.
In theory, this could be very useful. Rather than having unnecessary links littering a person’s wall, it will work as an auto-tidying system and allow users to remove posts that become obsolete, such as links posted to live streams which wouldn’t be relevant after the streams had ended.
Whether or not this feature will be fully developed and become available to everyone remains to be seen, and depends how well it is received in the trial areas.