Did you know that social media posts have a shelf life? I can hope that when you go to the grocery store you pay attention to the little row of ink along the top or bottom of whatever product you’re buying. These numbers, prefaced by “Best By,” indicate the shelf life of the product – how long the product is good for before it expires. The same principle can be applied to social media. The life of a post varies greatly depending on the social media platform due to the enormous amount of chatter that floods the feeds.

Do you know the expiration date of your social media posts?

Is your post already past its expiration date?

Is your post already past its expiration date?


As one of the most popular social media platforms out there, Facebook is constantly being overloaded with content. If you are looking for engagement on a post you can count on about 30 minutes of time before your post starts to become irrelevant. Engagement, as defined by Facebook, means actions – shares, likes, comments that show activity on a post. In a recent study performed by Wisemetrics, researchers found out a little more about the limited shelf life of an average Facebook post: 

  • 90% of a post’s total expected engagement happens within the first 12 hours after its creation.
  • Your Facebook posts receive 75% of its impressions within the first two and a half hours.
  • A post gets 75% of its reach — the number of people impressions are sent to and hence possibly a lower number than impressions — in less than two hours.
  • The post reaches 50% of its global reach — the total number of Facebook users in the world who an impression will ever be sent to or shared with — in just 30 minutes.


The second most popular social media platform has a tendency to push tweets down the feed faster than you can read a 140-character statement. The shelf life of the average tweet sits around one hour. Now this doesn’t mean that your tweet will never see the light of day again, but it’s possible for it to be deemed irrelevant in social media terms.


These social media platforms have the luck of extended shelf life thanks to their visual appeal. The average YouTube video will reach 50% of its reach in 7.4 hours – more than quadruple what Twitter or Facebook posts achieve.

It’s a continuing balancing act when it comes to your social media posts and keeping them relevant in the chaotic virtual world. What are some tips you have for keeping posts alive and timely?

Photo Credit: CarbonNYC

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