Facebook Launches Subscribe Button

Emily MacNair - September 21, 2011

Until recently you had to be “friends” with someone to be able to receive their updates in your News Feed.  Facebook rolled out a new feature recently which has now changed that.  You are now able to “subscribe” to someone else’s updates regardless of whether or not you are connected (i.e. “friends”). The idea behind this is to give Facebook users a bit more control over the type of information that fills their News Feed. Anyone on Facebook knows how quickly new information populates in the News Feed, and sometimes it’s not information you care to see. In the image below you will note that a user has the ability to select the type of information they’d like to subscribe to.

So if you have a friend who constantly posts updates related to games, you can opt out of seeing those types of updates if you choose.

There are a few things to note.  First is that all of your friends will have a subscribe button on their profile.

This is because you’ve already subscribed to that person’s feed by becoming friends.

Additional people can subscribe to your updates after you allow subscribers. Once you do this, a Subscribe button will show up on your profile and your public updates will appear in their News Feeds once they click this button. If you are interested in getting subscribers, you will need to follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Go to your profile and click Subscriptions on the left side of the page, under your profile picture.
  2. Click “Allow Subscribers” at the top of this tab.
  3. After you click “Allow Subscribers,” your settings appear. From here, you can edit who can comment on your public posts and when you’re notified about new subscribers. You can also see who subscribes to you.

To encourage subscribing to others, there is new a section that now shows suggestions of who to subscribe to when logged in (very similar to Twitter’s Who to Follow suggestions).

This subscribe option now can make Facebook posts more useful if you want them to be public, and particularly if you start gaining and audience. On the other hand, it also may add more confusion to the already confusion privacy options in Facebook.

Posted in: Social Media

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