You know you’ve been there. You wake up one morning, get on your computer and groggily log into Facebook and wake up instantly when you see those, well, unglamorous pictures from the night before. Texts From Last Night has made an entire business out of that moment.
What happens next is you go to delete the unfortunate pictures, only to find that you can’t actually delete them. While they might not be in their album anymore, the direct URL to the picture is alive and well. In fact, the URL will work for about another 3 years.
Finally, at last, Facebook “The Public Company” has figured out a way to let users permanently delete their pictures. Not just from the album, but from Facebook’s own servers. Once a photo is deleted, it will be gone for good in a “reasonable amount of time.”
You might think other services pull a similar trick, but services like, say, Twitter and Flickr instantly remove pictures from their servers when the user deletes it. Not everyone is that fast (Instagram for example recently changed their data caching to allow for quicker data deletion) but no one seems to be as slow as Facebook. To to delight of unfortunate photo subjects across Facebook, that trend appears to be changing.