Facebook testing status updates with an expiration date

11 Sep 2014

Image via Bloomua/Shutterstock

A new feature being trialled with some Facebook users on iOS provides the option to set a time limit for status updates, after which they will self-destruct.

Facebook let The Next Web know, “We’re running a small pilot of a feature on Facebook for iOS that lets people schedule deletion of their posts in advance.”

Screenshots published by users who have seen this feature in action show a menu for ‘Expiration’, with seven options ranging from one hour to seven days.

After the selected time, the post will be removed from the user’s Timeline, but won’t be erased from Facebook completely. In fact, it will take 90 days for the post to be completely removed from Facebook’s servers and logs.

Facebook test feature - expiration

This is just a trial feature for now, so expansion to other platforms and more flexible options for time limits could be introduced if Facebook decides to roll it out to all users.

Impermanent user-generated content has garnered a lot of interest since the popularity of ephemeral messaging apps such as Snapchat, and Facebook has already launched its own competitor in this area, Slingshot.

Slingshot, an app that lets users send photos and 15-second videos that will disappear after viewing, became available to iOS and Android users globally in June.

Facebook iOS app image by Bloomua via Shutterstock

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.