If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed with all of the changes Facebook is rolling out lately, have no fear, we are here to help you.
A few weeks ago Facebook added stronger privacy controls, giving users the ability to control who can see each individual update to their feed – friends, friends of friends or the whole world. This was in response to criticism of its previous system where the default setting shared each user’s updates with the whole world unless they changed their privacy settings.
Many privacy advocates pointed out that the typical Facebook user may not realize that while they are sharing updates with friends, they are in fact sharing those updates with the World. These changes, offering more granular control over who sees what, are in response to those concerns.
The latest change allows users to subscribe to other users’ feeds without having to friend them. You might have noticed ‘subscribe’ buttons popping up on some users’ profiles. This allows you to follow that user without having to be their Facebook friend. It also means the old 5,000 user limit on the number of friends anyone can have is no longer meaningful to high profile users who get hundreds of friend requests a day.
Only posts that are marked public can be shared this way. Anything you post that’s only for friends will only go to your friends. To start sharing, go to your profile page and under your picture there is a “Subscriptions” tab. Click it and follow the directions to start allowing users to subscribe to your feed.
Merging Your Page ‘likes’ into Subscribers
If you are an individual who is maintaining a Page (not a personal profile) for yourself, Facebook will now allow you to merge your Page into your personal profile and maintain all of your old likes as subscribers to your public feed.
This is a subtle shift for Facebook. Previously all sharing on Facebook was synchronous or one-to-one. I can only share with those who I have agreed to be friends with, and vice versa. This model is more like Twitter and Google+ where I can follow other people who choose to make their feeds public, without any obligation on their part to follow me back.
We expect further changes to be announced in the run up to Facebook’s F8 conference next week. And of course we’ll always be here to explain them and make sure you understand how they impact you and your business on Facebook. And of course you should always double check your privacy settings on your personal Facebook account to ensure you are only sharing with the world what you want the world to see.