After reading this post on Techcrunch I had a mix of emotions.
First, I felt stupid for never figuring this out before. Like many others, I have deleted a number of items from my mini-feed in the past, and every time I had assumed that those items would then promptly be deleted from my friends’ news feeds. Evidently this is not the case. Shame on me I suppose, for not testing and figuring this out on my own.
Then again, was I really being careless and stupid? Is it really that unreasonable to assume that a message indicating that “hiding will remove the story from your Mini-Feed and prevent anyone from seeing it” means that you are indeed preventing “anyone from seeing it”? Considering these two features (i.e., the new feed and the mini feed) were released at the very same time, it does not seem like that far a stretch to me. Techcrunch calls it “a poorly worded notification”. I call it blatantly misleading.
Finally (and most importantly!), it is just a bad product experience. Searching on Facebook’s help pages for “news feed” I came across the following question and answer:
Q: How do I hide my News Feed and Mini-Feed?
A: At this time you cannot turn these features off completely. Facebook allows you to prevent certain types of stories from being published about yourself. From the Privacy page, just click on the link titled “News Feed and Mini-Feed Privacy.” Unchecking one of the story types means that there will be no News Feed or Mini-Feed stories generated about your account for that particular action…
What this means is that it is either all or none when it comes to publishing particular actions in your friends’ news feeds. So for example, if I say it is okay to share events, then I have to be comfortable sharing all of my events. I can’t selectively choose which events are okay to share and which are not, which is really what I’d like to do.