Facebook is apparently testing a new feature that will make it possible to hide status updates and other posts from profiles. However, it won’t stop the messages from appearing in other people’s news feeds.
News Feed to serve a different purpose
With this feature, users would be able to post on Facebook without creating a permanent record on their own timelines. The company’s intention most likely is to make sharing a more comfortable experience for people. CNET reports that any post users choose to keep off their Timeline will still be seen in search results and be listed alongside their other activity on the “Your Posts” page, which only they will be able to see.
As of now, when a user posts anything on Facebook, it is published simultaneously onto their timeline and other users’ news feeds, making it possible for them to like and comment. Currently, it is possible for users to retroactively hide posts from timelines, but the new feature will stop them from appearing in the first place.
People are using Facebook differently, and this change reflects that. Users see more posts through their news feeds rather than by visiting people’s profiles. Facebook profiles are no longer a list of a person’s recent activity; instead, they serve more as a biography page, and therefore, status updates, at times, are not relevant to a particular moment. It can be said that people just do not want certain time-sensitive updates to become easily accessible after they disappear from their news feeds.
Facebook focusing more on privacy controls
Some users are seeing a check box underneath the status update bar labeled “Hide From Your Timeline.” When a user hovers over it, a message is displayed, saying the posts will appear in Facebook’s news feed and within search results but not on a timeline.
“The Timeline on your profile is a great place to see a comprehensive history of your Facebook posts. We’ve heard feedback that sometimes, you may want to share a post with friends and family via News Feed and not have that post be displayed on your Timeline,” the social networking giant said in a statement sent to Engadget. “We’re testing a feature that would make it even easier to control where your posts live by giving you the option to publish a post only to News Feed and not to your Timeline.”
For now, the feature is available only for selective users on the web, and Facebook has not said whether it will be a permanent addition or when it will be rolled out. Also Facebook is testing a separate feature that will allow users to alert specific friends to status updates by sending them a notification.
At 10:59 a.m. Eastern time, Facebook shares were up 0.01% at $117.77. Year to date, the stock is up almost 11%, while in the last year, it is up almost 46%.