CEO Proposes Emails With Expiration Dates

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — The CEO of an email company has proposed a new addition to email standards that would allow email messages to carry their own expiration dates.

Joshua Baer, who heads OtherInBox, suggested that emails could use the “x-expires” header to tell the receiving inbox that they become outdated after a certain absolute date or a certain time.

Baer said this concept could keep users’ email boxes cleaner and more relevant by removing expired offers form inboxes.

For example, holiday discounts or coupons sent by companies would automatically vanish when the holiday is over or when the coupon has expired.

Other messages that become unnecessary after a period of time, such as notifications of activity in groups, shipping notices from online retailers, or system alerts that often clutter up inboxes could clean themselves out.

Baer made the proposal at this week's InBox Love email conference.