One of the myriad of new changes that Facebook has made recently is the introduction of a “Subscribe” feature.
You can enable this on your own personal account: click here to do so. People will be able to subscribe to your Facebook Profile’s RSS feed, and any posts you wish to share will show up in their regular feed. They should also be able to see anything that you post to your wall, provided you choose “Public” in your privacy settings when you post it.
This is one of those updates that I am skeptical about. I specifically have two pages on Facebook: my personal page, on which I connect with friends and family, and a business page, on which I post links, field questions, and have conversations with people who know me as a blogger and teacher.
The Subscribe option allows people to see my personal profile, without becoming my friend. Which seems a little weird to me. If they know me from a business context, why would they not then just Like my Facebook Business page?
So, here’s what I think. For the average Joe, the Subscribe button is not going to get a lot of traction. Where it could get really interesting is when you’d like to connect, on Facebook, with people who have some degree of fame. I have subscribed, for example, to Robert Scoble’s feed, and I’m noticing a lot of people subscribing to the feeds of people who work at Facebook, Mashable, and TechCrunch. It’s fair to say that any celebrity on Facebook will also have a high number of subscribers (if they allow it).
I’m still not entirely convinced. Many of those nerdy types and celebrities are also accessible via Twitter and G+. So, is being able to subscribe to someone on FB just one more thing to turn up the volume on our increasingly noisy social media world?