New Network Deletes Your Digital Trail

If you’re one of those people who agonizes for hours over what photos and comments to post on Facebook in order to construct a perfect portrait of your awesome life, then this new social network may not be for you: it’s called Voycee, and it is billed as a “history-free” social network, because you are only allowed one post -- and every time you create a new post, it deletes your previous post.

Basically Voycee allows you to post one status update, photo, video or piece of audio content at a time. You can leave it up for as long as you like, and other people can like, share, hashtag, and comment on it -- but as soon as you post something else, the old post (and all the comments, shares, notifications and hashtags, etc.) disappear. And they’re really gone: Voycee emphasized that it doesn’t retain any data about users over time, so the only information is has about you is what you have posted at that very moment.

Part of the rationale behind Voycee is privacy and reputation management, which makes a lot of sense in our increasingly archived age: if you happen to post something that was, how shall we say, ill-considered, you can just post something else to get rid of it.

But the more important goal, in my mind, is to encourage people to stop obsessing so much over their own and other people’s pasts (as represented for example by their Facebook timelines) and focus instead on the present -- which is actually a pretty cool idea. You can still keep people updated on what you’re doing, share your personal triumphs and funny observations, and yes, brag about that fabulous vacation you’re having -- but when the moment has passed, you move on. 

Of course, it’s for this very reason that Voycee may struggle to build a mass audience: a large part of the psychological appeal, and indeed the whole rationale, of Facebook is the ability to document your life over time, and all the opportunities this offers to create an attractive persona that casts yourself in the best possible light. Voycee limits your awesomeness to one post at a time, and how much fun is that, really?  Well, we’re about to find out.

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