Facebook is Testing Out a New Feature

Anonymous images showed around the web depicting Facebook testing out a new feature. In fact, it’s more like the social media giant is bringing back the old element from the early years since its founding.

The feature is called temporary profile status update. The user can type in a 101-character status of what they have in mind and post it. Though it’s a shorter version of Twitter, it differs with the site because it disappears after a certain period. In this regard, the feature is similar to Instagram Stories or Snapchat Stories.

BuzzFeed News
101-character limit of the new function being tested | BuzzFeed News

Facebook’s Expiring Status Updates

Buzzfeed News confirmed with a Facebook representative about what the site’s been up to. They have started testing out the expiring status message just this week. The testing is in a global-scale, but only a few can access to it.

The status update doesn’t allow any other inputs like images or links. You can instead use it for text-only updates. Thus, if you’re one of the pioneers in the old Facebook more than one decade ago, the features can be reminiscent of the past. Before, there were no images, videos or links. Just the text updates starting with a name followed by “is” and the status update.

BuzzFeed News
Temporary profile status | BuzzFeed News

When the temporary status feature goes live for everyone, users can post anything they want and have it show on the News Feed or just on their profile. Furthermore, they can also set a time bomb or more aptly, expiration date before it disappears. There’s no confirmation whether the previous status updates would be archived or disappear permanently.

This move of Facebook is in an attempt to attract more users to its platform. From an established research study, teenagers mostly use photo sharing apps. Also, throughout the years, more and more people are posting on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat when it comes to live updates. With the temporary profile status, Facebook can bring back the audience most especially the teenagers aged 12 to 19 years old. They target this age group in the form of advertising as well as making Facebook a habit when they get older.

Regarding similar actions taken in the past, Facebook Stories is not doing well on the main app. The social media giant connected Instagram Stories to their version of Stories, but users still prefer the former. If this keeps up, they will strongly consider taking out the Stories feature on the main app.