Facebook is introducing a feature that will let people “hide” their updates from their profiles – making them appear within the news feed but without attaching themselves to people’s profiles.
The site will let people post just into Facebook’s feed, meaning that they’ll show for friends and will be visible in search, but won’t show for anyone who heads straight onto a users’ profile.
Facebook has had increasing trouble encouraging people to post about themselves and their lives, rather than sharing links to other websites. The new move is presumably aimed at that audience, allowing people to share updates without the pressure of knowing it will stay forever on a person’s profile.
Before the change, all Facebook posts appear on people’s profile and within their news feed, meaning that they will often show for friends who head to the Facebook home page, but can also be found by heading to the public-facing profile. The only way to post without leaving it for everyone to see is to hide it from the profile after the fact.
Now users will be able to click an option that allows them to “Create Posts Just for News Feed”. Posting using the tool is the same as normal, but allows people to click the button and have the change enacted.
Facebook has increasingly let people have more control of what appears on their profile, offering increasing privacy options, the ability to not allow photos to appear there until they are approved and letting people hide messages. Posts can be sent out to just a specific set of people, for instance, or kept entirely private.
The site encourages people to use the page as a public-facing round-up of everything about a person, letting them fill in information like employment history and education. But for the moment it also shows the posts that a person has made, potentially causing problems with employers or others.