Facebook is in the process of testing a new feature which lets you subscribe to all the actions of a specific user. In other words, you can receive notifications anytime a specific user takes an action on Facebook. It also appears to be Facebook’s answer to Twitter’s follow feature. As a Facebook user who has seen the feature explained to us, “By subscribing you don’t miss any updates from people you subscribe to.”
This could also serve as a new engagement opportunity for Pages if Facebook enabled users to subscribe to their activities as well. The result would be a fan count and a “subscriber” count, which is the number of people who are guaranteed to get all of your updates. For the time being it appears to just be a test, however this would definitely change the communications flow within Facebook. It’s also the ultimate stalking tool!
While I’m not quite sure how advanced this feature will be, you could imagine a system in which you get a mobile notification every time one of your friends that you’ve subscribed to makes an update. I think that stalker aspect of the feature could also result in some backlash. Previously, it was chance if a friend’s information was displayed in your feed, however this will remove chance from the process.
As the image below illustrates, you’ll be able to subscribe to the user and then a notification (like the one pictured in the second image) will alert you whenever the person updates their status, posts a photo, or shares a link. However I’m not sure if a notification will also show up if they like things or check in places. We’ve reached out to Facebook for more information about the feature, however we’re not sure if they’ll provide any details as the product is currently in testing.
Facebook gave us the following statement: “This feature is being tested with a small percent of users. It lets people subscribe to friends and pages to receive notifications whenever the person they’ve subscribed to updates their status or posts new content (photos, videos, links, or notes).”