Following Twitter’s announcement that they will soon offer Twitter Web Analytics Facebook are to release a subscribe button. At first, this may not seem like a big deal, however this will have massive implications, which will ultimately benefit the world’s largest social network a great deal.
The three main functions of the subscribe button are as follows:
1. Users can filter what they see from each of their friends
Fed up of seeing game updates from certain friends? Tired of seeing baby and wedding photos from them too? The subscribe button will enable you to select the type of content that you wish to see from each user. This is by no means a bad thing. You will be able to select from:
- All updates [absolutely every post]
- Most updates [amount you would normally see, hiding similar posts]
- Only important updates [significant changes to profile]
- Life events [change of relationship and such]
- Status updates
- Photos and videos
- Games [Thank. The. Lord!]
2. Receive status updates from non-friends
This option, I assume, has been primarily designed for those with a massive following (celebs and thought leaders) who wish to broadcast posts to an audience without having to add them as a friend. Such people will be able to add a subscribe button, like a Twitter follow button, on their content which will enable them to share Facebook posts without having to commit to being friends. This is a shrewd move by Facebook who, with passive friendships, have stepped on Twitter’s toes. I predict a huge growth in journalist and celebrity accounts from those that don’t get Twitter, but still want to share updates with an audience.
3. Enable non-friends to subscribe to your updates
That’s right, you can now put your Facebook updates out there for the world to see. This, again, is aiming to stop migration from Facebook to Twitter I believe. Now with your Facebook updates, like with Google+ updates, you can choose to make them public, only share them with friends or customise the audience – i.e. send to a particular group.
The subscribe button will give Facebook users an improved experience, there is no doubt about that. Hopefully they will improve their horrendous photo uploading functionality next! Let me hear your comments below or you can Tweet me [or, if you read this in a couple of weeks time, and I remember to update the post, you can 'subscribe' to my Facebook updates...].