The Subscribe button on Facebook lets a user subscribe to your public updates on Facebook. This button is an off-Facebook extension of the Subscribe feature the social network first introduced in September 2011 and allowed ordinary Facebook users receive public updates from prominent users, that have enabled the feature, without the need to add them as a friend-more like users would follow celebrity or journalist accounts on Twitter.
This social plug-in can be installed on any site, just like the “Like” button, to let visitors subscribe to contributors with a single click. This feature has proved genuinely popular especially among journalists according to Facebook’s own analysis of a sample of 25 newsstands who enabled the feature upon launch.
Recently Facebook’s Journalist Program Manager Vadim Lavrusik told about the subscribers that he has 71,090 subscribers nearly 5 times as many as Romenesko, whose journalism career has lasted longer by more times than that.
But Lavrusik just demonstrated that the subscribe button doesn’t automatically engage readers. Perhaps just asking questions isn’t enough, but rather starting a dialogue. But let’s back up here.
Romenesko posted on his own Facebook wall: “What kind of Facebook subscribers are you getting?” This came after Lavrusik suggested to Romenesko that he ask his readers what kind of Facebook subscribers the journalists are getting. Romenesko had written that he believed the majority of his subscribers outside the U.S. are spammers, while Ludsik claims they found the popular blogger out of interest in U.S. media. The Facebook journalist program manager suggested that Romenesko ask his non-U.S. subscribers who they are.
When Romenesko posted the question in simple terms, without making conversation, he only heard back from 20 subscribers. Lavrusik showed how to do this well by staring a conversation with his subscribers, that garnered 191 responses within an hour.
The Subscribe button is proving fatal for many as they are still hanging with the dream charm of Like button. However, a particular set of users, like journalists, authors etc, has got much encouraging response from Subscribe button. So, if you are a person who believes in engagement, dialog and discussion and spend a significant number of hours over Facebook to do so, then its time for you to consider Subscribe button as a main tool for information flow.