Although Facebook is quick to deny the charges, recent changes in functionality seem to mirror those employed by Google’s social network, Google+, which recently threw its doors wide open to the public.
While many have been quick to compare one network to the other, conceptually, they are quite different. Whereas Facebook has been great at connecting with friends on a one-to-one basis, it has not really been geared for gaining many followers. And unless you had a Business Page, which Facebookers could fan, building a following restricted one to a tedious process of asking to be added as a friend and waiting, all the while hoping that too many requests were not picked up by Facebook leading to the profile being banned.
Thus, doing business on the world’s largest social network became a game of chance until, that is, competition arrived. Now all of a sudden, changes are happening once again. Facebook - having seen the light and realised that as a brand or a marketer you may want people to follow you and you may not have the time and energy to run a Facebook Profile and a Facebook Business Page - has introduced Facebooksubscriptions.
The idea is simple enough. Go to https://www.facebook.com/about/subscribe and click on ‘Allow Subscriptions’. Anyone who comes across your profile and thinks they’d like to follow you can simply subscribe to your feed. The person subscribing has total freedom in what they would like to subscribe to: pictures, links, public posts and so on. And you, as the Profile owner, can also control what you allow people to subscribe to.
As an idea, this is quite revolutionary for Facebook, which seems to have been intent on segregating its membership base in ever tighter circles of contact. It also takes a leaf out of the functionality Google+ is based on, whereby you can circle anyone you like and keep up with their
If you were a marketer strapped for time this is nothing less than a lifeline. Now, instead of trying to manage friend requests, ask for more friends and try to increase your posts’ EdgeRank in order to gain visibility, you can now post unfiltered to the public at large and have people subscribe to what you post without you having to interact with them.
From a marketing point of view this puts the focus back where it should be: on the quality of the content. From a functionality point of view this is a breath of fresh air from a network which until recently was known for its autocratic arrogance towards its membership base.
Posted September 22, 2011 by David Amerland http://socialmediatoday.com/david-amerland/361671/facebook-s-subscribe-button-offers-additional-exposure-marketers