Lauren Peek | @_LaurenPeek Statistics have shown that teenagers and younger users have been abandoning the older social platforms like Facebook and Twitter for the newer ones like Instagram and Snapchat. Especially amongst teenagers, statistics show that usage on the older platforms has dramatically decreased in favor of the newer, often less permanent platforms.
There is a strong appeal in posting photos and videos that won't be saved in a backlog or timeline where new followers (or parents) can view later. If you were to log on to Facebook, you could scroll back through all of your activity to the day you first started your account. Twitter just announced that you can search every tweet ever tweeted. On the flip side, Snaps disappear after 24 hours.
In order to try to cash in on the popularity of Snapchat, Facebook recently announced that they are testing a new feature for their iPhone app in which you can make your posts disappear from your timeline. Users can set the interval for any length of time between 1 hour and 1 week.
The feature is in testing mode and is only available to some users. If the feature is successful and popular, they may consider rolling it out as (probably) a non-default setting to all of their users. This is a bit of a step back from Facebook's policy on privacy and anonymity (they no longer exist) to allow for expiring posts (which will still stay on the servers for 90 days).
In addition to erasing many ill-advised rants and drunken posts, this new feature could be extremely helpful as many lawyers, employers and law enforcement officials are using Facebook data against users during everything from interviews to custody hearings. Disappearing information could protect people from their past selves.