How Does Facebook's Subscribe Feature Work? It has been just a few weeks since Facebook has rolled out its new Subscriber feature for personal profiles. Like Twitter, this new feature allows users to subscribe to the public updates of friends and public figures without having to be actual friends with that person. For example, there may be a author of a book that you enjoy learning from. If that author had a Facebook personal profile you could subscribe to their public news feed without having to request to be a friend. It also allows you to control the data flow from your friends in your news feed through filters based on varying levels of importance.
Facebook's Subscriber feature is opt-in, meaning that you can control whether you want to share your updates publicly or keep them amongst friends. If you want to keep your updates amongst friends as they are now, there is nothing you need to do. However, if you wish to make your updates open to public subscribers you can change your setting here or in your profile.
So far the feature has proven to be very useful for celebrities and major public figures. They have found the Facebook Subscribe feature a great way to interact with their fanbase through Facebook while on the go. Thanks to the new Facebook privacy controls they can manage which updates are shown and how users interact with their profiles. Anything that is shared in public (as shown below) can be seen by both friends and subscribers, otherwise the content is filtered to whom the users decides to share it with.
Personalizing Your Subscriptions
Like Twitter's following-follower feature, Facebook users can now follow their favorite public figures without having to send them a friend request. However, unlike Twitter, Facebook Subscriptions gives individuals the option to choose the information they want to receive. You can manage your subscriptions from the Facebook Subscribers section in your profile (click on Subscriptions on left side of current profile layout as shown below). In that area on Facebook you can edit Public Subscriptions and Friend Subscriptions which allow you to manage subscriptions from those who you follow as well as your friends.
Public subscriptions help you manage what information you receive from the friends you are already connected with and control the status updates you receive from friends in your news feed. Users can now also decide friend by friend if they want to receive all updates, most updates, or only important updates and which types of updates they are interested in most.
While Facebook is yet to release the algorithm for what determines this status hierarchy, it could prove to be a useful feature for the friend who posts just a little too frequently about Farmville.
To control the types of posts you see from your friends, go to their profile and click on the "Subscribed" button. From the drop down menu you can control which specific forms of updates you would like to receive in your news feed. For instance. I may want to see the updates on the music and videos my friend Cory posts, but I may not like to hear about his social gaming.
How Does Facebook Subscribe Feature Differ From Facebook Fan Pages?
Many clients and friends have been asking what the need is for a new feature that falls in some purgatory land between following someone through their personal profiles and liking a fan page, but that is precisely it! This middle ground offers the benefits of both worlds. Facebook Subscribe feature allows users to communicate and share with the convenience and ease of a fan page, but maintain the structure and privacy of a profile personal page. However, not nearly all of the same features accompanied with fan pages are included in the new Facebook Subscribe feature. Take a look at the chart below to get a better understanding of how Facebook Subscribe stacks up to Facebook fan pages.
Let us know what you think of the new Facebook Subscribe feature with your comments below or on our Facebook page. Are you using the new subscribe feature already? Tell us who you are following that you recommend we look into.