Android App Offers Users Clean Slate On Facebook

By David Cohen Comment

Facebook’s new timeline profile encourages users of the social network to share more of their past. Exfoliate, a new app for the Android platform, basically functions as the anti-timeline.

Exfoliate allows users to automatically remove content from Facebook, simply by specifying the type of content to be deleted, and which date to start from. The app costs $2.99.

Users can choose to purge their own posts, comments, and likes, as well as any of those three types of content that were posted to their page by their friends, or that they posted to their friends’ pages.

The developers of Exfoliate claim that although users must log in to Facebook to begin the process, neither they, nor anyone else, will ever gain access to any personal data.

Be warned, however: Exfoliate is a huge battery hog.

This comes from its description on the Android Market:

Exfoliate will find and delete all of the items matching your selections. Behind the scenes, this requires a large volume of web service transactions. To put it bluntly, Exfoliate is a network and battery hog, and there’s simply no way around this.

To manage the impact, you can stop Exfoliate at any time, and restart Exfoliate later. Exfoliate, when restarted, will resume where it left off. Ideally, run Exfoliate when your device is plugged in. Also, Exfoliate may perform much faster on a WiFi network, so you may want to run it at home, through your WiFi, while you are asleep.

If you have chosen to disallow background data transfers on your Android device, Exfoliate will not be able to function as designed. You can authorize Exfoliate to do its work despite this setting by enabling the “allow background” setting in Exfoliate advanced settings.

Exfoliate will likely take many hours, or longer, to complete its work. This can be especially true if you are fresh out of college, facing the job market with four years of forgotten social networking data scattered across hundreds of friends’ walls.

To make this long process more manageable, you can start and stop Exfoliate at any time. The next time you start it, it will resume where it left off unless you optionally delete all clean-up data. You may choose to limit what content you ask Exfoliate to delete so you can get more immediate results.

For example, if you choose to clean only your wall, Exfoliate can complete its work fairly quickly. Cleaning your posts, comments, and likes off of your friends’ walls is what takes the largest share of the time. By default, Exfoliate does this after completing the process on your own wall.

Readers: Would you consider using an app like Exfoliate to start the cleansing process?