The Old Way: You send people a friend request on Facebook. If they approve it, you get to see their stream of data.

The New Way: You can subscribe to someone – if they’ve opted in to subscribe. Whether or not they approve you, you’ll get to see the info they’ve made public.

If you think the whole thing sounds a lot like Google Circles or following someone on Twitter, you’re right.

Facebook is emphasizing the fact that you have to opt in to get the button on your profile.

The new offering will allow Facebook users to share their feeds more broadly. Tech Crunch puts it this way:

The “Subscriptions” feature…addresses one of the biggest pain points for Facebook users who have a lot of friends… It means that power users who want to follow the updates of public figures now have a way to do so, without having to submit a friend request to the person in question. It also provides a way for users to breach the previously constricting 5,000 friend limit on Facebook.

There are a lot of details about how it works here.

Are you going to add subscriptions?

Author

Rachel Dornhelm

Rachel Dornhelm has worked as a reporter, editor and producer in public radio for the last twelve years. She got her start in New York City at WNYC and went on to work with the national business program Marketplace, WBUR’s “On Point” and KQED News in San Francisco. Her work has been honored by the LA Press Club and the SF-Peninsula Press Club.

Rachel has a BA with honors in anthropology from Rice University and did graduate work at NYU.

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