Facebook has been experimenting with a new feature that lets users set a timer on their posts, which allows it to “self-destruct” after a period of time. Interestingly, this feature has been discovered by a small group of users, who spotted it on their iOS app earlier. From the way it works, users will be given the option of allowing the post to remain on the newsfeed from a mere hour to a whole week. Voila! The post will vanish from the surface of the social media platform.
According to a Facebook representative, they are running a small pilot of a feature on Facebook for iOS that lets users schedule removal of their posts in advance. This is probably a good idea, since it’s less risky as compared to sending new features to the 500 million users who check in daily, and avoid another Facebook Messenger fiasco.
Well, it is certainly a safe bet for Facebook to test their new features on a small scale – given that their attempt at launching the Slingshot app wasn’t a successful one. Oops. From the looks of this test, it seems that Facebook hasn’t let go of its obsession with the “self-destructive” nature of content – a similar feature that mirrors the popular Snapchat app.
Telegraph has reported that Facebook monitored 3.9 million users in the US and UK over 17 days in the summer of 2012 and tracked when they started to write messages but later abandoned them. Their posts were only counted if there were at least five characters entered, to prevent noise from accidental key presses, and were considered as censored if they had not been posted within 10 minutes.
Telegraph also stated in its report that 71% of the users practiced self-censorship at some point during the experiment, with 51% deleting at least one post and choosing to leave 4.52 posts unpublished on average over the period. Another 44% censored comments, with an average of 3.2 comments going unpublished.
So, if you have any ridiculous posts – this could be the best feature for you. You’ll have the opportunity to get rid of your painful history or embarrassing moments easily. Those angry rants about your ex might remove themselves before he gets to see them. Whatever it is used for, it’s clever technology. Now, your Facebook posts have an expiration date, which makes it difficult for someone to stumble over bits and pieces of information from your past before another war breaks out again!