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I confirmed this on FMS188.8.131.522, using "Hide object when" to 1 on the popover.
This should be reported as issue, there is no reason that can't go to popover related to hidden button only on webd.
I have an "invisible button" style that makes the button unseeable. You don't have to put text in it, either. Make the button very small so it's unlikely to accidentally get bumped and you're good to go. Not allowing the popover to work if the button is hidden sounds logical to me, including as a way to limit access to the popover under certain circumstances.
FileMaker WebDirect work differently in layers then FileMaker Pro. Things need to be visible so that you can click on them to be able to start something (Script/Popover etc).
You can have something "not hidden" but still not visible. You can then use the Go To Object script step from a button or other feature to call the popover.