Digital Marketing News – Facebook ‘Subscribe’ or Twitter ‘Follow’?


There’s been a lot of noise this week about the fact that Facebook’s new subscribe feature has been made available for websites. Some of the headlines announced the new feature was to rival Twitter and replicated the user’s ability to ‘follow’ individuals.

It all sounded very exciting until I spent a good half an hour head scratching over the not insignificant number of posts about this new tool just to come to the realisation that this is a bit of a non story.

The subscribe button for a brand page does exactly what the ‘Like’ button does, and for an individual it allows you to see their public posts (if they’ve enabled that feature and already have the subscribe function on their Facebook page).

Example from TechCrunch site

Where I can see a benefit is for sites that have many contributors and so it gives the user the chance to subscribe to an individual blogger or through an employee page as well as the brand itself.

And while this does appear to offer an alternative to the ‘Follow’ button, I’m not convinced it’s the threat it’s been made out to be. The kind of updates we look for in Facebook are generally different to our Twitter follows so having the option of where we view an individual’s updates gives us greater flexibility in streamlining the information we receive.

I’m sure Facebook are positioning themselves to rival other social networking sites but I doubt Twitter is shaking in its boots just yet. It’s a nice update but let’s not get carried away.

If you want your own subscribe button you can pick one up from Facebook as long as you have the subscribe function enabled on your page.

Written by Felice Ayling

Editor: On first impression it does seem very similar and a bit of non-story. However I’d be interested to see how Facebook’s Edgerank (If you are not familiar with Edgerank, Econsultancy have a very well title post on the Subject: Edgerank, the most important algorithm you’ve never heard of) is going to treat a Like and a Subscribe differently. Also, they are keen to push the idea you can control your subscriptions, where as people aren’t really aware they can do this with the feed of things they have Liked. We’ll keep you posted on how it develops……


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