It seems like every other week something new is released in the social media world. As for last week, Facebook announced its newest feature: the Subscribe button. There are three main uses including choosing what you see about your friends, getting updates from people you subscribe to, and allowing people hear your voice. Basically, the Subscribe button allows you to add and organize the information on your News Feed and makes your profile, posts, and statuses accessible to people outside of your friends.
To add the Subscribe button, you need to “allow Subscriptions”. Only people who decide to enable the button will have it on their Facebook page, which will show up in the right hand corner of their profile. You can only subscribe to people who have allowed the new feature.
Facebook’s new button incorporates and fuses together aspects of Twitter and Google+. Subscribing to people you don’t know or being a public subscriber is like following them on Twitter—you don’t need to know them personally for you to subscribe to them. The ability for people who aren’t your friends to view your posts and statuses also resembles Twitter, specifically how followers can read your tweets. Selecting the content that your subscribers see from you and the information you see from others (either friends or public subscribers) is an alternate version of Google+’s circle concept. Instead of grouping people and then sending different kinds of information to certain groups, the Subscribe button allows you to filter the information that you see on other people’s profiles (if they are Subscribers) and what you decide to show people on an individualized, per profile level.
Facebook is taking notice of what its competitors are doing it right and constantly changing and adding to its own platform. Even though this is an exciting new addition people are also looking for improvements on features they already use like Chat (in particular the sidebar). The Subscriptions aspect landed at a great time on the other hand and I think it has the potential to take off…unlike Facebook deals.