Facebook’s recently-redesigned home page features a top stories view of the most interesting items that your friends are sharing, plus a live feed view of the most recent items. And both views just got a seemingly small new update: A simplified interface for hiding whoever is sharing stories that you don’t want to see.
Here’s how it works. Drag your mouse over a feed story item. You’ll see the word “hide” appear. Then mouse over it and you’ll see it turn into a button. Click on the button and you’ll get a minimized view of whatever you just hid — a person, page or application.
There’ll be a link to “edit options” within that view. If you click on it, you’ll see a pop-up window showing a list of the people, pages and apps you’ve already hidden, including whichever one you just did. You’ll have the option to add any of them back in within this window. You can also find the “edit options” button at the bottom of either feed.
Previously, the “hide” button gave you a drop-down menu showing a variety of options for hiding friends and apps.
Also, this is just how the new features works for the top stories view. In the live feed, meanwhile, you have the new hide option, but “edit options” shows you the same interface as the live feed had already: the number of friends who will show up in your live stream, the people you’ve blocked, but no options for hiding or unhiding pages and apps.
So let’s say you hide an app, then want to add it back? This is a use case near and dear to many developers hearts — as you might imagine from this Facebook help center thread titled “How do I unhide Farmville notifications?”
Right now, if you hide an app within the live feed, then go to the news feed and click on “edit options” at the bottom of the page, you’ll also see the same old window as on the live feed. However, if you reload the page on the top stories view, you’ll see the regular news feed interface of everything you’ve hidden — including the app you hid while in the live feed. So, there is a way that a user could bring an app back that they hid within the live stream. It’s just not very obvious.
Note: We don’t mean to pick on NetworkedBlogs in the screenshots — in fact, it’s the app we use to publish Inside Facebook’s stories on to Facebook.