The “What’s New in Version 6.9.1″ notes on today’s updates says you can now “Choose whose posts you see in News Feed.” We’ve had this ability on the web for awhile but I guess it wasn’t available on the app until now. I didn’t notice, mostly because I rarely bother “hiding” posts.
When you click the little arrow on a post you can choose “I don’t want to see this.” And if you don’t understand that, Facebook includes an explanation below the prompt: “Hide this post from News Feed.”
You can also choose to Unfollow. Facebook also clarifies this option with “You won’t see posts from (INSERT NAME).
If someone you follow shares a post from someone else, the dropdown includes a third choice to hide all posts from that third party. Now that’s useful if you have a friend who insists on passing along every post from the Kittens Are Cute website.
Where the ability to hide posts on the web feed is nothing more than a power trip, the ability to hide them on mobile is actually useful. There’s a limited amount of viewable space on the iPhone app so getting rid of the constant junk posters makes scanning your news feed faster and more efficient.
The downside for marketers is that it’s now even easier for followers to push your message off the page. Harry might enjoy your product but if you send too many messages in one day, he’s going to swipe and tap. Two seconds later, you’re off his radar for good.
At least if he unfollows you can see that reflected in your stats. But can you see how many people are hiding your posts? And can people hide promoted posts? I’m assuming so since promoted posts are just an amplification, not an advertisement.
The only saving grace here is that a “hide” only works on that post. Which is why I don’t really understand why people bother. You’ve already seen it, is it worth the extra swipe and tap to make it go away? Give it five minutes and it’ll be pushed off the page by 25 new posts.
What do you think? Is the ability to easily hide posts and unfollow on mobile an issue or barely a blip on the Facebook marketing radar?