Here is a detailed, yet simple, explanation of the new “Subscribe” button on Facebook. Take a few moments to understand how this feature works and I promise that you will find new ways to enjoy Facebook.
Thanks to Mari Smith for putting this together:
There seems to be much confusion around Facebook subscribe vs. friend! Let’s see if I can shed just a smidge of light on this!
Subscribe button for non-friends:
Completely optional, turn yours on if you wish to let non-friends receive your public updates in their news feed. Think of it like an RSS feed subscription; or like following people on Twitter. There is no difference in privacy settings, per se.
- Any non friend could always see your public posts and publicly shared profile info anyway.
- The difference now is that your public posts push out into the stream of subscribers. Whether you turn on subscribe for non friends or not, you can still subscribe to other people, with whom you’re not friends – assuming they turned on their own subscribe button – and see their public updates in your news feed.
Subscribe button for friends:
The biggest area of confusion is that friends also have a subscribe button. You are automatically subscribed to receive most updates from your friends in your news feed. And vice versa: your friends are auto subscribed to receive most of your updates in their news feed.
Now, with both subscribe to non friends and subscribe to friends, you have a number of more granular controls that allow you to select the volume of updates and what type of updates you want to see in your news feed.
- Hover over the subscribe button at any time to adjust settings per subscription and per friend.
You could even unsubscribe totally from a friend if you wanted to; this means you’re still friends but you won’t see any of their posts in your feed. The friend doesn’t receive any notifications about your subscription adjustments.
- Any posts/photos/videos that you share with specific friends, all friends, and even friends of friends is *not visible* to the rest of Facebook and the public at large.
With posts to all friends in particular (vs friends of friends) you should never see some random person who is not your friend suddenly engaging with the post!
Hope this helps a wee bit!!
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