Facebook Adding Subscribe Button for Twitter-Like Following of Strangers

By Oliver VanDervoort September 14, 2011

On Wednesday, Facebook announced that it was adding another new feature that is intended to make using the site just a bit easier. Users will be able to click a “subscribe” button on strangers’ pages. This will allow people to follow posts without having to friend those people. The social media website has taken quite a few endeavors over the last few weeks to become even more user friendly. 

First there was the announcement that the company was working on a digest style for alerts. This digest would send a summary of all the alerts you have accumulated over the day, instead of sending an email every time someone commented on your status. Facebook has also been testing a way for you to allow the site to automatically sort your friends. This new feature, being called the “smart list” would sort friends depending on where they went to school or where they currently live or work. The lists then allow you to pick and choose which group of friends you want to share photos and posts with.

Facebook director of product management Blake Ross announced the newest feature in the company’s blog saying, “"Until now, it hasn't been easy to choose exactly what you see in your News Feed. You also couldn't hear directly from people you're interested in but don't know personally -- like journalists, artists and political figures,” he added, “With the Subscribe button, we're making it easier to do both."

Facebook says that the subscribe button will be rolling out to anyone who wants one in the next few days. The company says that should you want to try and build a bigger audience than just your circle of friends you can add one to your profile. It is important to note that people won’t be able to subscribe to your page should you not want that option. In an age when people lose personal information on the web users will have to be careful to understand just what is going out on the web with this function. This feature seems to be a recipe for disaster for those less than careful about what they say and do. For those who understand how to use it right, it can be a real boon.

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Edited by Rich Steeves

Contributing Writer

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