Facebook has confirmed that it’s currently trialling a new feature that would see friend requests expire if you don’t accept or decline them within 14 days.
I don’t know about you, but I know more or less immediately whether I’m going to accept a new friend request. Is it someone I’ve met? Then I’ll accept it. If not then − sorry wannabe pal − you’re getting declined. In the days when I actually used Facebook to post statuses and chat publicly with friends I used to try to be a bit more selective, but as the social network’s turned into a dumping ground for photos and event invites I’ve become much less discerning.
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Still, there are always occasions when someone you barely know will add you as a friend and you’ll end up waiting for the problem to go away rather than confirm that you definitely don’t want to connect. The new expiring friend requests should help with that, while also keeping your request queue neat and tidy so that you can see requests from people you might actually want as friends.
The trial was first noted by a TechCrunch reader, until later a Facebook representative confirmed that the feature was being tested.
If you accidentally let a friend request expire after 14 days, Facebook’s help page notes that you’re able to simply sent a friend request back.
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 become bloated by trying to simultaneously provide people news from traditional publishers at the same time as offering interactions with your friends. It’s an adolescence every bit as awkward as the one I posted on Facebook for the world to see just a few short years ago.
Hopefully the new friend request system will go some way towards cleaning up the social network.
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