Facebook: You can't 'subscribe' to people, you have to 'follow' them
Facebook is doing away with the "subscribe" buttons on its site and replacing them with "follow" buttons — but nothing's really changing, except maybe your feelings of self-worth.
"On Wednesday we began updating the term 'subscribe' to become 'follow' across the site as we found it is a term that resonates better with people on the service," a Facebook spokesperson told NBC News. "Nothing is changing about how the feature works."
The semantics of the change may be worth a quick exploration though. You subscribe to magazines, newspapers and sausage of the month clubs. You follow leaders, drummers and signs. A subscriber exercises choice and votes with a wallet, while a follower gets in line and does what he or she is told. While it may be an unnoticeable adjustment on the overall social network interface, who's to say it won't have deeper psychological impact down the road?
That said, the term certainly hasn't hurt Twitter, which has had "followers" from the start. And Twitter isn't the only place: Pinterest favors that term and as does Tumblr. Google+, on the other hand, has users "circle" each other.
The Facebook "subscribe"/"follow" swap may take a few weeks to appear all over the site, but it's certainly happening.
Date: Dec 8, 2012