Facebook has once again started experimenting with new capabilities by following in the footsteps of Snapchat and enabling users of the iOS app to produce disappearing posts. The new option allows users to set an expiration date for their posts ranging from one hour to seven days. This new function was not only a response to the ever growing teenage market for disappearing messages, one that Snapchat has led for the last three years leading to an approximate valuation of $10 billion, but also an outcome of the interest Facebook users showed in automatically deleting posts.
This is now the third attempt at a deleting message app that Facebook has produced since June; the first of which was the relatively unsuccessful Slingshot. Slingshot was an app that operated in a similar way to Snapchat but required users to send a picture to view a picture. However, this proved to be unpopular with users and, as a result, Facebook removed the one aspect of the app that made it distinctive from Snapchat. Within a month of this failed attempt to unseat Snapchat the Facebook owned app Instagram released Bolt, another attempt to threaten Snapchats dominance in the ephemeral photo sharing market.
At these early stages the new function for Facebook is only available for testing in New Zealand; however, if this new ability proves popular enough it will without doubt be turned very quickly into a globally available tool for all Facebook users.
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