Business Technology

Tuesday 24 October 2017

You will soon be able to hide your Facebook status updates from your profile

The Facebook office will be powered entirely by wind energy Photo: AFP/Getty Images
The Facebook office will be powered entirely by wind energy Photo: AFP/Getty Images

James Titcomb

Facebook is testing a feature that allows users to hide their status updates and other posts from their profiles when they post them, with messages still appearing in other people's news feeds.

The feature will allow users to post on Facebook without creating a permanent record on their own timelines, and is possibly intended to make people feel more comfortable about sharing things.

Read more: People are getting bored of Facebook and Instagram, study says

Currently, a Facebook status update or other post is published simultaneously into other users' news feeds, where they can like and comment, and onto that person's own timeline. Users can retroactively hide posts from timelines, but the new feature will allow posts to never appear in the first place.

A tick box underneath the status update bar labelled "Hide From Your Timeline" is being tested by some users. By hovering over it a message says that posts will appear in Facebook's news feed and within search results but not on a timeline.

The change reflects how people are using Facebook differently, seeing more posts through the news feed rather than visiting people's profiles themselves.

Read more: Facebook denies eavesdropping on users' phone calls

Rather than being a list of a person's recent activity, Facebook profiles often serve as a biography page, so status updates about a particular moment may not be relevant.

Or more simply, people may just not want certain time-sensitive updates being easily accessible after they disappears from the news feed: posts about being horribly hungover or declarations of love have a shelf-life, especially when a new employer or partner skim through a profile.

It emerged yesterday that Facebook is testing a separate feature that allows users to alert specific friends to status updates by sending them a notification.

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