Facebook's 'hide' option might not mean what you think

What do you do if a story appears in your Facebook that you're not interested in? You might just ignore it, or you might try to train Facebook about your preferences by selecting the 'hide' option.

But if you're the sort of person who hides a lot of stories, Facebook might start placing less importance on your dislikes. This might sound counter-intuitive, but Facebook is convinced that it makes sense, saying that for some people opting to hide a story "isn't as strong a negative signal". So who are these people?

Introducing a new update to the way newsfeeds work, Software Engineer Sami Tas,and Engineering Manager Meihong Wang reveal that a small group of people go to the trouble of hiding just about every story that appears in their newsfeed. It is these people for whom Facebook believes that hiding should not necessarily mean that similar stories should be hidden.

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.

Habitual hiders are warned that even if they continue to hide stories, it is likely that they will start to see more appearing in their newsfeeds. As a result of this, page administrators may find that they get more hits than usual.

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