Facebook's Subscribe Button Produces More Traffic Than Twitter Or Google Plus

Facebook's new subscribe button appears to yield more website traffic than either Twitter or Google Plus.

Facebook’s new subscribe button appears to produce more traffic than either Twitter or Google Plus, even when you have more Twitter followers than Facebook subscribers.

That’s based on an early observation by Kevin Rose, Kevin Rose, co-founder of Digg and now the co-founder and chief executive officer of Milk. I saw his publicly visible status update about this in my news feed even though he’s not one of my Facebook friends because I’d clicked on the subscribe button he enabled on his profile.

How Much Better Did Facebook Subscriptions Perform?

  • Even though he has more than five times as many Twitter followers (1,200,000) as Facebook subscribers (220,000), he received 10 percent more clicks from Facebook. Facebook produces more than five times more clicks than Twitter.
  • And though he has twice as many Facebook subscribers (220,000) as Google Plus followers (129,000)… that means he should receive about half as many clicks from Google Plus, but he received only one-seventh as many clicks from Google Plus. Facebook subscribe produces more than seven times as many clicks as Google Plus.

The following chart compares the clicks per follower for Kevin Rose’s post. It’s not exactly a click-through rate because we don’t know what percentage of people saw each post or tweet.

Why Would Facebook Subscribes Produce More Clicks?

Facebook subscriptions might be more effective at notifying subscribers than Twitter or Google Plus are. Perhaps more people see a Facebook post via subscription than a tweet or Google Plus notification. Whether the Facebook post is more compelling may play a part too; his burning man post has a photo, which Twitter cannot do, but Google Plus can, and it performed even worse than Twitter.

Brian Carter is the author of the book The Like Economy: How Businesses Make Money on Facebook.