Snapchat is an ultra-popular photo sharing app that on the surface seems meant for sending temporary naughty pictures to one another. You take your (presumably naughty) picture, set the (again, presumably naughty) picture’s expiration via Snapchat, and send the (horribly horribly naughty) picture to your friends/family/strangers/etc. You may remember that just under a year ago, Facebook tried to purchase Snapchat for a cool $3 Billion in cash. You may also remember that Snapchat turned them down. Hard to believe that $3 Billion wouldn’t be enough, though maybe that was for the best, as Snapchat has recently received funding with a company valuation of right around $10 Billion. It seems that Facebook hasn’t taken being spurned too hard though, as they’ve recently started testing a very Snapchat-ish feature for some iOS users – Self-destructing photos.
I guess if you can’t beat ’em or buy ’em, just steal their ideas? In
Snapchat Facebook’s test phase, users can set a deletion time anywhere from hours to a few days after posting. Some users in this test have posted screenshots of this post-deletion automation.
Facebook has a new post expiration option? pic.twitter.com/EGH2F0GUKe
— Ben Young (@bwagy) September 8, 2014
Admittedly, posting your naughty photos on Facebook seems like a horrendously bad idea, but maybe they’re banking on some other variety of time-sensitive temporary photos? I could see business pages posting temporary sales, where they display an image for the sale during it’s run and automatically nuke the post once the sale is over. Or perhaps users creating an event could delete their posts after the event occurs.
The problem with this idea though is that Facebook seems to have a big problem actually showing people content from their friends and pages that they follow. Even with my stream set as “most recent” I can’t count the number of times that I see the same old stories popping right up to the top, while things I might actually be interested in get buried. If users and pages start automatically deleting posts it’s highly likely that their friends/family/followers/etc will never see those posts. Maybe it’s not such a bad idea to post your naughty photos to Facebook afterall!
This feature is currently in a very limited roll-out, and may never make it to the “big show.” What do you think of these “new” features for Facebook? Let us know in the comments or on your favorite social network. We promise we won’t delete our Facebook post for this article.