What does Facebook’s new Subscribe Button mean?

By September 15, 2011 Social Media

On Wednesday, Facebook announced their new Subscribe button feature. So what does that mean? My friends can subscribe to my page as if I were a magazine? Not exactly. Facebook is suggesting that you subscribe to people’s public status updates and customize how much of their “news” you receive.

The social network posted an announcement about the feature, saying that it will allow you to “Choose what you see from people in the news feed”, “Hear from people even if you’re not friends”, and “Let people hear from you, even if you’re not friends.”

Everyone already gets their friends posts in their News Feed, but with the subscription feature, you can now choose how much you see from them. You will have the following options:

All Updates: Everything your friend posts
Most Updates: The amount you’d normally see
Important updates only: Just highlights, like a new job or move

I don’t know about you, but there are definitely a few friends that I would prefer to not know when they were driving to the mall, when they got to the mall, what they got at the mall, and how long it took them to get back home from the mall. (Seriously people, it is not necessary. No one cares that much about your trip to the mall.)

With this new feature, you can also decide what types of updates you see from a specific friend. For example, you could see just pictures from one friend, no updates about games they’re playing at work from another, and nothing at all from someone else if you just find them plain boring. But this doesn’t mean that you have to go on to every one of your friends pages and choose which option you would like. Choosing what you see is optional – if you dont want to change what you see, just ignore the subscribe button all together.

This new feature also lets you subscribe to people you find interesting. If there is a political figure you find intriguing, or a journalist whose articles you like to read, subscribe to their page. If you see the subscribe button on your favorite singers profile, just click the button to get their public updates right in your News Feed. Just like your friends, you can pick and choose how many and what types of updates you see.

Finally, get your own subscribers! If you think that you’re a pretty cool dude, you can share your public updates with more than just your friends by getting the Subscribe button on your profile. People who then subscribe to you will get posts you set as “Public” in their News Feeds. Again, this is an entirely optional feature, you need to opt in to it.

I think this is a fabulous new feature. It will help make my news feed more interesting to me, and eliminate those who post every hour! (I still love you, Uncle Phil!)

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