Some Facebook users are seeing a subscribe button on business pages that allows them to receive News Feed updates from a page without indicating that they “Like” it.
Facebook confirmed that it was testing the feature, which was first reported by Marketing Land. This seems to be an extension of the interest lists feature the social network launched in March. After rolling out Timeline for pages, Facebook began giving users the option to add pages to an interest list to subscribe to content without Liking the page. However, the feature is hidden in a drop down menu so it is unlikely that many users knew about it. If Facebook expands its test with the subscribe button, more users might be more likely to connect with pages this way and perhaps organize them into lists. Users can view interest lists as a separate feed or see summaries of content in News Feed.
Here is a screenshot of the new feature from Marketing Land reader Craig Smith:
We do not have the button on our own accounts, but here is the way to connect with a page without clicking Like:
We’ve previously questioned how ads will be targeted depending whether a user Likes a page or subscribes to it. We’ve also pointed out the problem that Facebook pages don’t get any information about how many users subscribe to their content through this button or interest lists.
Facebook introduced subscribe for personal accounts in September 2011 to allow users to allow for asymmetric relationships between users.