Facebook has edged a step closer to becoming an all-round social media service, now allowing followers as well as friendships. Users can now ‘subscribe’ to other Facebook accounts, rather than clicking on the ‘friend’ button, accessing news items from a personal account without being exposed to every update posted.
Surprisingly, the subscribe button is accessed by those wanting to make the connection, rather than those wanting to limit access by others. This means that a personal Facebook account being operated for search engine optimisation or other marketing purposes could become a powerful hub for off-site media activities.
Users who click on the subscribe button are able to choose the level of information they receive from the person they’re subscribing to. There are three levels, with all updates, most updates, or important updates available as options. Users are also able to choose whether they want to see status updates, or only access certain types of media from different subscribed feeds.
For those wanting to allow subscribers, the subscribe button has to be manually switched on. Posts also need to be marked as ‘public’ to allow followers to receive them.
This new aspect of Facebook could mark a change in the way businesses use personal Facebook accounts for SEO. With the ability to attract subscribers, much as with Twitter, businesses will have to compete for attention. On the other hand, this new feature could make it much easier for business owners to gain and keep the attention of users, turning a Facebook account into a media empire.
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