Facebook’s New Subscribe Button Means More Exposure For Online Video
Facebook has unveiled a new feature called the Subscribe Button that enables users to receive publicly visible status updates from people who aren’t on their friend list. This same feature will also allow users to customize the updates they see from those who are on their friends list, a further elaboration on the current basic feature of being able to block a particular friend’s updates from showing up on the News Feed.
Facebook’s official announcement states that the new subscribe feature can be used to:
- Choose what you see from people in News Feed
- Hear from people, even if you’re not friends
- Let people hear from you, even if you’re not friends
As far as being able to choose what shows up in your News Feed, the Subscribe Button will give you three choices regarding the amount of content you’d like to see:
- All updates: Everything your friend posts
- Most updates: The amount you’d normally see
- Important updates only: Just highlights, like a new job or move
The Subscribe Button also allows you to hear from people who you aren’t friends with, like celebrities, artists, political figures and journalists; which has much more accurate connotations than becoming their friend, or liking them. One way to conceptualize Facebook’s new Subscribe Button is that it’s very similar to following someone on Twitter.
This a huge move forward for Facebook in the individuals control over their own content aggregation. Instead of your news feed being full of your friends’ exclamations of joy about their day off from work, or woes about their procrastination habit, you’ll be able to receive more developed and curated content; like links to news articles, information on newly released films or music, or important political speeches or events. Additionally, any Facebook user who wants to share their public updates with a wider audience than just their friends list can opt in and add a subscribe button to their profile, so this feature is not limited to celebrities or organizations.
What does this mean for video? Ostensibly, the new Subscribe Button is going to aggrandize the sharing of video via Facebook in a major way. In the past video has been limited to sharing among friends as posts to their wall, or via a private message. Now, users are granted a much higher level of control over who they’re receiving content from, and profiles who have a large number of subscribers will be able to push their content out to a much larger audience. Considering that Facebook is the 3rd highest ranked site for online video views (according to comScore.com) we can expect to see video sharing to increase drastically with the rise of the Facebook Subscribe option.