It’s a typical work day. You’re going about your business, when you decide to take a short break and check Facebook. Maybe you see a post that you’d like to share, but you’d rather not have that post on your timeline. While you could just delete it later, there’s a new feature that lets you share a post to your news feed, without posting it on your timeline.

There are several reasons why you may want to do this. If your primary reason is that you don’t want the post to stick on your timeline, that’s one. However, it can also save you time in the long run when it comes time to clean up your Facebook profile. By preventing statuses from being posted directly to your timeline, you can keep it relatively clean throughout your Facebook tenure. If all you want to do is share a link to your News Feed without sharing it on your timeline, this feature will be your best friend.

To use this feature, all you need to do is make a new status update, and before you click Post, look for the Hide From Your Timeline checkbox. Click it, and this will display your post in the News Feed, without posting it directly to your timeline. Keep in mind that you can still choose who your post is being shared with, and whether it’s public, for friends only, or specific friends only.

Keep in mind that your posts will still be available through a search function, and that they’ll appear in Your Posts, which is only accessible by you. As usual, it’s your responsibility as a user of social media to practice discretion, and it’s up to you to choose whether you want to keep posts hidden from your timeline, or to just not post at all.

If nothing else, this new feature of Facebook’s proves that social media is moving in a direction that’s attempting to improve user privacy. For example, Snapchat supposedly gets rid of photos after they’ve been sent in an attempt to improve privacy, and Facebook’s attempt to replicate this in its News Feed is a testament to how “effective” it is. Granted, who can really say what Snapchat does with all of the photos sent through the app, or what Facebook does with the data that it accumulates? 

The point stands that, regardless of how you use the Internet, you should be aware that any information that you put on your social media pages, including posts, is shared with the entire world, unless you take matters into your own hands to prevent it from reaching those who shouldn’t see it. This includes hackers, who will be on the lookout for any personally identifiable information that they can use to ruin your life. Ultimately, it’s up to you what you share on Facebook, but be smart about it.

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