This article originally appeared on http://sixtysecondsocialmedia.com.
Mark Dalton specialises in social media and digital marketing news. You can find him on Twitter here.
Facebook has somewhat of a ‘thing’ for Snapchat and its self destructing mechanism. Recently they launched their own Snapchat competitor, “Slingshot” which has been far from a success to date however clearly Facebook seems some kind of appeal in the self destructing message market as it appears to be testing out a new feature.
Facebook company reps confirmed by saying, “We are running a small pilot of a feature on Facebook for iOS which lets people schedule deletion of their posts in advance.” Screenshots of the new feature appeared on Twitter during the weeks as some users spotted a list of expiration times available for new posts.
So it would appear that Facebook wants to be more like Snapchat. Facebook has tried to get into this area before, in December 2012, Facebook Poke was introduced as a self-destructing messaging app. It was a sly way of saying hi to a friend but failed because of its lack of originality and general all round appeal.
After Facebook Poke flopped, Zuckerberg tried to buy Snapchat for $3 million but was very publicly declined by Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel. Since then, Facebook has decided to adopt a very aggressive company strategy of, “if you can’t buy them, copy them.”
It is this approach that led to the birth of Slingshot however the uptake has been slow. Despite getting knocked back constantly Facebook continues to spin off app after app at people, hoping that something will eventually stick. Last month we were faced with the Facebook messenger fiasco where it was decided to break off messaging functionality from the flagship app and we all know the uproar that caused from the general user base.
So up to this point Facebook has really dabbled in everything apart from the self destructing message, however if past attempts are much to go by then this new feature will probably self-destruct at some point in the future and Facebook will be back to finding another new feature to throw at us.