Facebook has made a big change in profiles. They have offered a solution to public figures, people using Facebook for business, and people who just don’t like to friend people. They have released the subscribe button. At this moment you might be asking what this is. The subscribe button essentially makes your profile into a fan page.
People can subscribe to your profile. They will then get your public updates to their newsfeed. When someone subscribes to your feed they are not your friend. They are not added to your friend list.
- You can follow someones updates without having to add them as a friend
- You can control the information that comes through your newsfeed.
- You can subscribe to someone but they do not have to approve you
Why allow subscriptions?
- You don’t have to worry about the 5000 friend limit
- You can control what information goes out to your subscribers
- You can control comments
Benefits of Subscribing
- When you subscribe to a profile you can control what information filters through your newsfeed. You can choose if you want to receive all updates, only photos, only links, only important items. And important is decided by Facebook, which includes change in relationship status, though it is currently unclear what else is considered important.
- The information is not reciprocal. Traditionally when you friend someone, you see their updates and they see yours. The social relationship is reciprocal. However, with subscribing, you see theirs but unless they subscribe to your profile they will not see yours.
Benefits of subscriptions
- Profiles are limited to 5000 friends. If you want more than that you have to switch to a fan page. With subscriptions that is not the case. You are still limited to 5000 friends, but there is no limit to subscribers.
- Controlling information. If you only want your friends to see an update you can mark it as private and it will not go out to your subscribers. If you leave the update as public then it will go out to your friends and subscribers.
- You can control comments from subscribers. When you set up subscribers you have a choice on if you want to allow comments on your posts. If you turn off comments, none of your subscribers will be able to comment on any of your public post. Only friends will be able to comment.
The subscription option is a great medium ground solution for people who don’t want to have a fan page, but have been frustrated with the limitations of a profile. This is great for public figures, people who use their profile for business and personal. For maintaining professional distances, like teachers and students or bosses and employees. This allows for the Facebook social relationship without feeling like you have to censor your posts because your boss or teacher might see it.
The big question is will it catch on?
Learn more about subscriptions from the Facebook FAQ.