Facebook maintains that the removal of this feature is because it is old and outdated. They also claim that users have been complaining that they cannot find people even when they know the exact name used on the site. What it looks like they forgot is that the feature was not for the people looking, but for the people that did not want to be found. It is possible that the ones who were hidden did not want someone finding them or the attention from people they did not know. The feature was there to protect privacy and not to make searches easier.
Over the years Facebook has made it harder and harder to maintain a private timeline on their site. They continue to do this despite growing disappointment in their new settings (often rolled out without warning). In some countries their continued effort to expose everyone on Facebook have led to investigations by privacy regulators and we expect to see this one at least raise some eyebrows. Unless absolutely forced Facebook will not be changing this back so it is even more important to make sure that you check and recheck your privacy settings if you want to keep your timeline private. You no longer have the option of hiding from searches and if you were hidden you will soon not be.
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