Facebook has changed the way that the ‘hide’ button works on the news feed for users who are active ‘hiders’. This change will affect some metrics within Facebook Insights, and it could change the response that you get on your page.
The change is aimed primarily at users who are very heavy users of the hide button. Some users hide a huge number of posts, and the button plays a major role in the algorithm that decides what not to show in the News Feed. Users who hide almost everything end up missing a lot of content that they would probably actually like.
The new shift in the algorithm will make the hide signal less important if a user tends to hide a lot of posts. This means that the users will start seeing more stories, because their hide input is no longer as influential as it originally was. Users can no longer hide from content – a subset of users who were trying to do so will now be shown more content.
This is good news for brand owners who have pages and for SEO services in the UK, since a new group of users will be seeing their posts. It will, however, have the unintentional side effect of meaning that there will be more hidden posts showing within Insights. However, Facebook does not expect that those pages will see any significant changes in their distribution because of this. The additional hides may look like a worrying metric but they are nothing to really be concerned about.
The response from users has, understandably, been mixed. When Facebook officially posted about this new change, users were concerned that their wishes were not being respected and that they will see spam that they are not interested in.
It’s important to note that end users can un-like a page if they don’t want to see content in that page, and that while posts liked or shared by friends will appear in their news feed, if they hide those they should not end up having to hide a huge number of pages to control the content of their feeds. The algorithms used by Facebook are quite good at determining what content users are interested in, and the goal of this update is not to spam users but to avoid situations where users see no content at all in their news feeds, creating a negative experience.