Facebook Lets The World ‘Subscribe’ To Your Profile

Facebook ChangesIf there’s one thing consistent about Facebook, it’s change. And every change has people clamoring about, panting, and sweating. The experts rush to explain it, screaming phrases like “game changer” and “major, major change!” Average users who pay attention start to panic, wondering how deeply Facebook is allowing people to invade their privacy.

And the rest of the kajillions of Facebook users continue blissfully along, possibly noticing the change, using it if it helps them, ignoring it if it doesn’t.

In times like these it’s appropriate to remind folks of on of the main tenets of Selective Social Media – share selectively.  That part hasn’t changed, and sticking to that practice will help you weather the inevitable changes in social media platforms, whether you really understand them or not.

So, what’s the current Facebook fuss? It’s the new option that gives users the option to let people subscribe (via the ‘Subscribe’ button) to your personal profile updates without the bilaterally approved ‘friend’ relationship. TechCrunch describes it well:

Here’s how it works. As you browse around the site, you’ll notice that some users have a button at the top of their profile that says ‘Subscribe’. Click it, and you’ll start seeing that user’s status updates in your News Feed, just as if you were their Facebook friend. But there’s a big difference: unlike normal Facebook friends, the people you subscribe to don’t have to approve your subscription request, and there’s no limit on how many people can subscribe to any given user.

This new update doesn’t automatically share anything that you’re not sharing already, but if you’d like to let people read your Facebook updates without having to ‘friend’ them, this option is for you. The person this feature may be ideal for is a celebrity, politician, or otherwise public figure who would rather share as a profile than a page.

If you want to let people subscribe to you, you must first allow subscribers (currently via the subscriptions icon in the upper left column on the profile page. Once enabled, random people click on a subscribe button on your profile to follow your updates. Facebook says subscribers can see only the things you share publicly, that is, the posts that use the public privacy setting. That’s the same stuff the non-friend public could always see, only now they have the option to subscribe to that content and see your public updates in their News Feed.

facebook subscribe

There are additional options to select when enabling the SUBSCRIBE button.


So should I enable that devilish Subscribe button on my profile?

If you generally use the ‘everyone’ setting for your updates, then this is no big deal. You’re already making that content visible to non-friends, and allowing them to subscribe just sends this same information to their newsfeed. If this level of sharing is your objective, you may want to consider using a page rather that your profile for engaging the public community. On the other hand, if you prefer to keep the lid on your profile, only sharing updates with people you know personally, there’s no reason to enable that button.

(almost) All About The Latest Facebook Page Updates

Facebook-Page-Page-ViewLast week’s package of changes that Facebook rolled out are causing a bit of an uproar. Any time Facebook makes changes, it’s very stressful to people who don’t like change. That being said, this time the changes are mostly beneficial to everyone.

Lots of folks are clamoring to be the first/best tutorial on the new updates. I don’t happen to be one of those folks, so I wanted to direct you to a post by Mari Smith, one of the most visible online personalities related to the workings of Facebook.

Her post reviews most of the updates to Facebook Pages. One of the biggest changes she doesn’t get into is the phasing out of FBML in favor of iframes. This refers to the way to make a FB page look similar to a regular web page – you’ll see them used to present nice graphics in a ‘landing page’ style. Here’s an example of one from a page called Daily Steals.
facebook landing page

The reason Mari doesn’t get into this is because it’s not a topic for basic Facebook users. It’s not too awfully complex, but it does involve creating a web page and creating a facebook app to import it. For the nitty gritty on that process, check out this article.

These new Facebook pages are not optional. They’re to be in effect across the board starting March 11. Pay attention to the Facebook pages you like and notice what they do to increase likes, connect with their readership, and how they integrate facebook into their overall online strategy. Anything you see someone doing on FB, you can do too… at least for now!

Now Interact With Facebook As A Page

Facebook just rolled out some changes to address some of what were among the biggest drawbacks to using Pages. Previously, you could post anything you want on the wall of your own ‘page’ (remember, different than a personal ‘profile’), but you couldn’t post as your page on another’s wall. If you wanted to add to a discussion you had to post or comment as your regular name you use on your profile.

But Facebook saw the light, and (among other new features) pages may now engage as themselves. So instead of replying to a comment as ‘Freddie Smith’ and everyone saying, “who?”, you can now comment as ‘Freddie’s Custom Quilts’, and everyone says, “Oh, that guy!” And if you attract people with your valuable contribution, you’ll get legitimate followers.

I don’t have my own video, but check out this one for a brief demonstration.

There are other ways Pages are now more like Profiles.  There are likely to be more changes – or at least ‘tweaks’ – in the near future. It’s also possible that not everyone sees everything exactly the same way right now, but if you don’t have something, you’ll likely have full functionality soon.  Here’s a link to some more details on those new functions.

Just Say ‘Not Now’ To Facebook Friend Requests

Techcrunch reported a small update added by Facebook to that allows non-friends to follow you.

Giving you every chance to change your mind about not making a connection, Facebook now gives you two options to deal with friend invitations.  You can select either ‘Confirm’ or ‘Not Now’, but ‘Deny’ or ‘Ignore’ are not options.

Selecting ‘Not Now’ moves the invitation to a limbo category that allows those people to still follow your updates in their newsfeed – at least updates tagged ‘Everyone’.  Denying a request tagged ‘not now’ involves several steps – account/edit friends/show hidden requests.  Clicking on “don’t know (the person)” after Not Now will prevent them from submitting another request.

So this will be a nice feature if you want people to subscribe to you but want to stop short of establishing a two-way relationship.  If you have privacy concerns, remember to tag your posts with the level of visibility you want.