Facebook has begun testing a new feature for its iPhone app that lets users set new posts for deletion after a certain interval of time — anything from one hour to seven days. The Next Web spotted several users on Twitter who posted screenshots of the feature.
Several users reported noticing the test on their iPhones. One post on Twitter showed a list of expiration options ranging from one hour to seven days.
It’s not the first time Facebook has tried to emulate emerging social media services designed to be used in the moment without leaving a permanent digital mark.
In 2012, Facebook toyed with the concept with a standalone app, Poke. Apparently coded in part by CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself, the effort was described as something of a lark over a holiday weekend.
It was shut down this year and replaced by Slingshot, a similar app on which short-lived messages show up only once two users have sent them to each other.
The ephemeral has become increasingly alluring in the social-media world, particularly among younger users, in the past couple of years. The runaway success of Snapchat, which lets you send photos, texts or videos that disappear in a matter of seconds, has led the way.