Facebook is constantly tweaking and changing the newsfeed algorithm to try to perfect what exactly is shown to users and attempt to ensure that the content users are being served is something they actually want to see. This was where the hide feature originally came into play – allowing users to hide the stories and posts that they did not wish to see.
However a recent update put forth by Software Engineer Sami Tas, and Engineering Manager Meihong Wang talks about a little mentioned outcome from this functionality. See the hide button made it all too easy for people to just hide as many things as they see, essentially decreasing page visibility and post reach. The recent update puts forth an algorithm change that will slowly start to diminish the value of the hide button for “habitual hiders”.
To do a better job of serving this small group, we made a small update to News Feed so that, for these people only, we don’t take “hide” into account as strongly as before. As a result, this group of people has started seeing more stories from the Pages and friends they are connected to than in the past. Overall, this tweak helps this group see more of the stuff they are interested in.
So if you’re a fan of hiding as many posts as possible, take this as your first, and probably only warning from Facebook. Eventually you’ll start seeing more stories in your newsfeed, regardless of your activity with the hide button. That in turn means an increase in post reach for businesses and page owners. The real question however becomes – what will those people end up doing with the stories they see that they used to hide?