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Why Facebook is Still Not ‘Open’

Facebook SubscribeIn recent weeks, Facebook and Google+ have come out with updates on their respective social networks.  A lot has been made of these announcements, but I want to focus on one from Facebook.

The new Facebook subscribe button opens up the social networking site. No longer do you have to be a friend to get updates from someone. You can simply subscribe to their updates (assuming they’ve enabled subscriptions, of course).

I’m a huge fan of Twitter and Google+, and the one thing those networks have over Facebook is that they’re open. They offer a one-way connection to people whereas Facebook required both parties to accept the connection.

So while I think this Facebook subscribe button is a step in the right direction, it doesn’t go far enough.

Let’s think about this for a minute.

Who would you subscribe to? Celebrities, sports personalities and other public figures will be high on a lot of lists. But I use social networks to connect and deepen connections with people who live near me. After all, I’m more likely to meet them than I am to meet Brad Pitt or Barack Obama.

How will I be able to connect with those people?

Well, I’m not sure. Will they show up in the suggestions area? Usually I see people who might be connected to me from previous employment or school or from mutual friends. How will I connect with random people from my general location? Those are the people I’ve connected with and found friendships and relationships with on Twitter and Google+.

It’s because of that that I don’t see Facebook subscribe being a great tool for me.

Note: I haven’t used Facebook subscribe button yet. This post is based on a thought experiment. I’d love to hear if you’ve encountered otherwise.

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  1. September 26, 2011 at 2:35 pm

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