Facebook Copies Twitter’s Follow Feature – Introducing The “Subscribe” Button
Facebook have been very busy overhauling the news feed in the last couple of weeks and today sees them launch another huge update to the most important part of the site. They’ve just announced a new subscribe button which will allow anybody on the site to share their updates far and wide in a more unconstrained manner that feels more like Twitter or Google +. It’s really made for people who want to push out their content or raise their profile on Facebook because as they say in a blog post themselves it is for journalists, artists and political figures especially. It’s rolling out to everybody as an option in the next couple of days but you can head over here and enable it now.
Privacy First With Opt In
Unlike many Facebook features in the past this is an entirely opt in process which means that not everybody will have this on their profile by default. Even when you opt in only the posts that you share to “public” will appear on other people’s news feeds. It seems like Facebook might have learned from previous privacy mistakes and are being super cautious on this one which makes sense given who far and wide content share like this could travel.
Taking Back The Algorithm
The news feed currently shares content with you that Facebook thinks you want to see based on the previous interactions that you have had with your friends and brands. It works great most of the time but it does mean that you end up missing content from some people but this new button gives you complete control. Now if you choose to subscribe to somebody and see all their updates you will do so automatically with none of them getting filtered out.
Isn’t This The Same As Pages?
Many journalists and celebrities have already set up Facebook pages to build their network on the site and the functionality here is very similar. The only difference is that Pages have insights, allow you to add apps and can be controlled by multiple users. This feels like it is for non celebrity types and people for example who might blog and want to share their personal content with a wider audience than their personal friends. It is certainly very similar to Facebook pages but there are some very subtle differences. Facebook have seen some of the things that worked well on Google + and the huge success of Twitter and are basically adding a “follow” button for want of a better word. It’s a subtle change but it’s a fairly important one for personal profiles.