The new test feature from Facebook drives the point home that some friendships just aren’t made to last. Like Snapchat’s time-sensitive messages, Facebook now has expiring friend requests.
The idea behind the expiring friend requests is that if you ignore them for a certain period of time they would be automatically deleted. While it’s not a feature that will be of interest to everyone, it’s could prove useful to anyone with a more public profile that gets bombarded with endless requests to connect.
I don’t know about you, but I know pretty much know immediately whether I’m going to accept a new friend request. If it’s no one I know, you’re getting declined.
However, in the current round of testing, friend requests can be set to automatically delete after 14 days; although it’s not clear whether this will be a fixed period, or if it’s adjustable. Some users, including Christine Hudler, have noticed the 14-day countdowns next to their expiring friend requests that encourage them to respond quickly to the invitations.
A Facebook spokesperson has confirmed the feature to TechCrunch, writing “I can confirm that this is a test to help surface the most recent requests.”
Accounts with large followings might benefit from the feature. Since there’s a limit to the number of friend requests, expiring friend requests will allow for more connection with the people that matter.
It’s an interesting time for Facebook. On the one hand, the social network is facing criticisms over how it handles user data, while on the other the platform has been trying to tackle people’s personal issues. Hopefully the new friend request system will go some way towards cleaning up the social network.
Daniel is an Art Director and Graphic Designer with over a decade of experience in advertising and marketing in the Greater Toronto Area.