Ephemeral content is taking the digital world by storm – everybody is doing it!! What the heck is Ephemeral content? Quite simply, it contains any visual content, video or photos, which is only available for a certain period of time and then vanishes. 

ephemeral content

Major social media networks like Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp have copied Snapchat’s concept of sharing disappearing content. Now users can distribute short-lived content via Stories and Livestream that usually vanishes within 24 hours.

On sites such as Snapchat and Instagram, the content can be sent to individual users, groups or posted on publicly available “stories.”

Users are becoming more engaged in actively creating their own live content which usually vanished within 24 hours. It is predicted that 85% of social media sharing in 2020 will be through ephemeral content. 

In addition to pictures and videos, stories are now containing more features including: 

  • Day of the week, date, time, weather
  • Hashtags and tagging
  • Geo locations and geo stickers- inform followers of your location
  • Polls and open-ended questions- collect feedback and have a live discussion
  • Countdown stickers- vacations, birthdays, weddings, moving, and major events.

YouTube is a bit of an outlier as its ephemeral content lasts for 7 days while the majority of social media sites will delete the content after 24 hours. 

Thus, “Monitoring” is essential to any social media (OSINT investigation) where you are collecting and authenticating all information for future mitigation and litigation.

There are multiple ways to download and save public ephemeral content posted to social media. Make sure your vendor or SIU knows how to take advantage of this new trend!