If you're a social media virtuoso, you were probably pretty stoked on Thursday to see the internet abuzz about the latest Facebook feature test: "Hide From Your Timeline." Of course, you may also be wondering, what does Facebook "Hide From Your Timeline" do, exactly? If so, you wouldn't be alone. As word of this new feature, which is currently in the trial phase, has spread far and wide, so too have questions about its function and how to actually put it to use. So pull up a proverbial seat next to me, my friends, and we'll explore this topic together.
For starters, let's talk about your Timeline in general. As you well know, it serves as a comprehensive snapshot of your Facebook history. If someone logs into your profile and scrolls downward, your Timeline holds all of the pictures, posts, and tags you've made. It makes sense then that you might want to vet your Timeline occasionally to keep random tagged pics or relatively inconsequential posts from clogging up your feed, but you probably already know the deal there — to do so, you simply find the post you want to hide, click the arrow in the upper right corner, and select "Hide from Timeline." Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
So what does the new Facebook "Hide From Your Timeline" feature do that is any different? Well, it eliminates the need to go back and hide posts retroactively. When you are creating a post, this new feature allows you to choose whether or not the post will show up on your Timeline at the time you first post it — that is, it will appear in the News Feed, but it will bypass your Timeline completely. Explains a Facebook spokesperson via email to Bustle:
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 ability to hide a post from your Timeline already exists, and today 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.
How does this social media wizardry work? It's actually incredibly simple. If you currently have access to the feature, when you go to post a status, you will see a small box that says "Hide From Your Timeline" appear next to your standard blue "Post" box. Just check the box, and the status you post will only show up in News Feed and not your Timeline. In case you're curious, here's what the feature looks like in action:
Now, if you log in to Facebook and don't see this sparkly new function, don't fret just yet. As the Facebook spokesperson indicated, the feature is only in the testing phase at this point. We don't yet know when the feature will fully launch (or, for that matter, that it definitely will make it out of testing), but we'll keep you posted as new details from the Facebook camp emerge.