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Getting “Subscribers” To Your Facebook Public Updates

October 14, 2011

Facebook now has a “Subscribe” facility. On Twitter all tweets are presumed to be public unless sent as “Direct Messages” to a specific individual; any Twitter member can choose to follow them. On Facebook, however, your updates until now have been restricted to people whom you have accepted as “Friends”.

This is now changing. You can choose to have your updates visible to people who “subscribe” to them – even if they are not your “friends”. Well, actually, not all your updates! Only those you have marked as public! So yes, you can still keep things within your family of friends if you so wish, but equally the general Facebook public will find it much easier to follow the content you put out for general consumption.

Here’s an extract from the “Inside Facebook” blog:

Last month Facebook launched the Subscribe feature that lets users select to receive the public updates of people they’re not friends with, similar to following someone on Twitter. However, Facebook has not released an official Subscribe widget or badge that users can install on a website to ask visitors to Subscribe to them.
>> Click here for the full article

The article quoted here has a very clear set of instructions on how to make a badge and link to encourage people to “Subscribe” to your public updates, using Facebook’s existing profile badge creator. They’ll then get your content streamed right into their own Facebook news feeds.

This is potentially a powerful new method of building a Facebook following.

(I tried the method suggested, but for my site the badge came out at the wrong size to be convenient for me, so I made my own using the Windows Paint drawing app. It’s here on the site at top right.)

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