subscribing. It's just like "following" on Twitter or Facebook. By using the new subscribing feature you can follow the public posts of people on Facebook without actually "friending" them.
It was inevitable that this would arrive. First, they added the public feature which is useless unless the public can see the posts. Second, they need to keep up with all the cool features over at Google+. Google+ allows its users to follow people like Twitter and segment people better than Facebook which makes it the coolest social media outlet (though the most complex) right now.
How are Facebook fans going to react?
I am most curious to see how people are going to react to the new changes. Facebook has been a closed society and many people like it that way. Are people going to embrace subscribing or are they going to reject it outright and continue to post strictly among their own friends?
I can see bloggers using the public and subscribe feature for posting their blogs. If your blog is posted publicly on the internet why not post it publicly on Facebook too, right?
The only flaw in this is the reaction of friends in closed communities. There might be a backlash from them if they feel encroached upon by seeing public posts in their mix. People will certainly need to be more careful about leaving comments if they are commenting on a public post.
The Shake Down
Anyone on Facebook who is also on Twitter or Google+ is not going to have any adjustment issues. They are already used to a public environment or the subtle nuance of total control. The big shake down is going to occur with people who have remained insulated on Facebook. The new options are going to be a shock. Some will embrace them and others will reject them.
Perhaps Facebook is getting it wrong. Perhaps their strength lies in the fact that they are now the only large, closed social media outlet. Maybe they are missing the boat trying to be like everyone else. At least they were smart enough to make the subscribe feature optional. It does not go into effect unless you turn it on.
What are you going to do? Do you think the public feature and subscribing is a good thing for Facebook or not.