Just a quick post to answer a question a few people have asked me – Will I be Clicking the Facebook “Allow Subscribers” Button?
If you’ve missed this new addition to Facebook, you can read all about Facebook Subscribe here.
Basically, it gives you the option of choosing whether you want to allow anyone to see your updates on Facebook (and allows others to see your updates if they choose to subscribe). If you allow others to subscribe to your updates, you can choose which ones they see by selecting who sees what each time you post something.
Why I’m Not Going to “Allow Subscribers” for now
My initial feeling is that I don’t see the point of allowing this and I don’t feel that Facebook personal profiles are the place for this kind of sharing. If I want to share something with people other than my family and friends I will either use Facebook Pages (where people subscribe to keep up to date with information on a particular topic) or I’ll put it on Twitter or Google+
I’m guessing that this is Facebook’s attempt to lure people away from Google+ and Twitter, and I wish they wouldn’t. Facebook does what it does really well and doesn’t need to be Twitter too.
For most people, Facebook is a place to share updates, photos, videos and events with family and friends. They may not understand Twitter…they may never have heard of Google+…but they know where they stand with Facebook (except when FB change privacy rules). It’s personal and a place to interact with friends, family and people you haven’t seen for years but suddenly feel you should dip into their lives again! If they are a fan of a person, film, TV show, business, topic or “thing”, they can “like” the relevant page and keep up to date with it via their newstream.
Why do they need another option of subscribing to a person’s personal updates too? After all, if that person is updating their Page regularly what else are they hoping to get from them?
Some people might say, “What do you have to lose?” After all, you can choose which of your updates you share and which you don’t.
My answer to that is this; anything I share within my personal profile is meant to be personal and for family and friends only. If I start writing some posts that are personal and some posts that I make public and are aimed at a public audience, I might as well have a totally public account. My friends and family aren’t interested in SEO articles or business blogs, and that’s why a Facebook Page is a great way to keep business and personal separate. It’s OK on Twitter because that’s what people expect from the platform – some family members follow me on Twitter to see what I’m doing but most stick with Facebook.
At the end of day I have to ask myself why would my best friend from school who’s a head teacher want to find out about the myths of online marketing, and why would someone who knows me only through business channels want to hear about my cleaning routine (or lack of) – both recent Twitter and Facebook updates, respectively?
I’m always open to alternative arguments, so please add your own comments below. Have you clicked the button yet? Is there someone who’s “Subscribe” button you’ve clicked on (sounds so rude!)?
P.S. The only person I could find who had the Subscribe button (in order to get a screenshot) on their profile was Mark Zuckerberg! I guess he has no choice.
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