Facebook is now promoting its new Subscriptions feature by recommending people to follow based on the Pages users have Liked. For example, the screenshot below shows recommendations for a user “because you like [the Page] ‘Facebook + Journalists.'” The people being recommended are high-profile journalists for The New York Times, former managing editor and current opinion columnist Bill Keller, and social media editor Liz Heron.
Facebook launched the Subscribe button in early September as an asymmetrical feature encouraging users to receive updates published by non-friends (who have enabled their personal profiles to receive subscriptions). It has already introduced subscription recommendations, showing “People to Subscribe to” based on who a user’s friends already subscribe to. Those recommendations, and the new Page-based ones, appear in the sidebar module on the right side of a user’s active page — a conspicuous channel for subscription discovery.
The difference here is that Facebook is using Page context to target recommendations, rather than purely social context. Heron’s profile shows the total number of subscribers but no information about friends, presumably because the user has no friends who currently subscribe; Keller’s profile instead shows that one friend is subscribed but not the total.
[Thanks to Dan Birdwhistell for the tip and screenshot]