Social network Facebook is testing a brand new feature that would allow users to set a ‘self-destruct’ timer on their status updates.
A number of users have noticed the new feature appearing when using the iOS mobile app, taking to their news feeds to report these findings. Some took screenshots of this option, which appears to give people the choice of scheduling the deletion of updates on timescales ranging from an hour to a week.
Online news suppliers have been informed by a spokesperson from the company that it is running the small trial on the iOS version of its social platform.
The networking site seems to have had a keen interest in vanishing messages since its unsuccessful attempt to buy photo-messaging app Snapchat – which specialises in this area – for around $3 billion. It would seem that this type of messaging is clearly in its internet marketing strategy for the future; earlier this year, the Californian company launched a similar app, called Slingshot, that uses self-destructing picture messaging. In July, Facebook offered to pay users up to £118 in return for trying out the software over a period of three months.
It is unclear whether these posts will be permanently deleted or not, but it is expected that they will remain on the company’s servers. It is also unknown how long this experiment will last, and whether or not it will be rolled out to all versions of the site, as it often trials potential features before making them permanent fixtures or sending them to the scrap heap.