Facebook adds new 'subscribe' button: Watch out Twitter

The new feature will let Facebook users follow others' public posts without necessarily being approved friends

Facebook is extending the scope of its site into Twitter and Google+ territory by making it possible for Facebook members to subscribe to each other's public posts without necessarily having to be approved friends.

The option to let other Facebook members subscribe to one's public posts will go live across the site in the coming days, Facebook said on Wednesday.

This feature will apparently replicate Twitter's "follow" model and similar functionality available in Google+. This is a capability that famous users have been requesting for a while, because personal profiles have a maximum limit of 5,000 friends.

A way to get around this limitation on Facebook has been to set up a promotional Page, but for this type of user, that means managing two presences on the site.

Now, users will be able to let others subscribe to their public posts without having to add them as friends, a move that puts Facebook in much more direct competition with Twitter and adds a major new usage scenario for Facebook members.

This new Subscribe Button is the latest in a rapid-fire string of new features Facebook has added in the past month, which many industry observers believe have been prompted by the launch in limited beta of Google+ at the end of June.

This week, Facebook announced new features to simplify and automate the grouping of friends, and earlier made its privacy controls more prominent and easier to use, two improvements seen as reactions to the Google+ Circles feature.

Previously, Facebook also rolled out video chat, which it lacked when Google+ launched with its Hangouts video chat feature.

In addition to encroaching on Twitter's stomping ground, the new Facebook Subscribe Button also matches a similar functionality available in Google+ Circles.

The Subscribe Button will also let users filter out some status updates from their activity streams if they have become too "noisy" with posts that are of little interest.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags social mediainternetFacebooksocial networkingInternet-based applications and services

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?