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Facebook Launches Subscribe Button

Posted on 9.14.2011

While Facebook continues to be the undisputed leader in social media, it also seems to be very interested in modifying itself to look like other prominent social networking sites. That seems to be the case with the rollout of the new Subscribe Button, which has to remind one a bit of Twitter.

After unveiling new privacy features last month that are reminiscent of Google+ Circles, Facebook posted on their blog today about the new subscribe feature which is said to make it easier for you to alter your News Feed to block specific content, specify which friends you want to see more content from (and which you want less of) and hear directly from people you're "interested in but don't know personally," artists or politicians.

They corrected this by adding the Subscribe Button, which will shortly start popping up on profiles.

According to Facebook, the button allows you to:

- Choose what you see from people in your News Feed
The button allows you to decide just how much you want to see in your Feed from certain friends. You can select between all of their updates, most of their updates (which they define as "the amount you'd normally see") or only important updates, such as a move or new job. You can also choose the types of updates; for instance, you can choose to only see photos from one friend, block out posts about games from another and see absolutely nothing from a third friend (which begs the question, "Why are you even friends with them to begin with?").

- Hear from people, even if you're not friends
This is where things get Twitter-y. It's a simple premise, if you see a Subscribe Button on the profile of someone you're interested in, you can, you know, subscribe to them by clicking it, which allows you to see their public updates in your News Feed. It's just as customizable as your friends, as well, allowing you to choose how much and what kind of content you see from them.

- And let people hear from you, even if you're not friends
You also have the option of adding a Subscribe Button to your own profile, which will allow people who subscribe to you to see all of the posts in their News Feed that you make "Public" with the new privacy features. This is an opt-in only feature. After allowing subscribers, you get to decide who can and cannot comment, as well as the specific notifications that you'll get. There will be a tab on your profile where you can see who is subscribing to you.

Needless to say, it should be interesting to see how these changes affect the Facebook landscape in the months to come.

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