What if we went from “friending” to “subscribing”?
@ShearCreativity tweeted this very provocative article from allfacebook.com. Apparently, Facebook is currently testing an option that would allow users to “subscribe to” another Facebook friends. Ostensibly, this feature appears to mimick Twitter’s “follow” function– indeed, if you subscribe to someone, you would receive notifications anytime the person updated their profile. Although Facebook maintains that they are currently testing this feature and have yet no plans to release it– it has garnered lots of controversy.
Facebook seems to be in a hard place right now. It is competing in a world where Twitter is more active than ever and Apple is entering into the social network business, and yet, it has taken high amounts of criticism for its forays into users privacy. Is establishing a function that people are already referring to as “stalking” a good idea? Especially when Facebook has received complaints about stalking?
On the other hand, maybe integrating a “subsrcibe” function will help Facebook better embody what it is: a social network that, although very public, allows members to interact with each other in a variety of different ways…
I guess only time will tell.