Last week, Facebook unveiled a new feature that allows you to “Subscribe” to another user’s updates — without having to friend said person. A few musicians, including Blink-182′s Mark Hoppus and Snoop Dogg, made like early adopters and activated the feature.
For those who missed it, the Subscribe feature, which went live last week, lets users keep up with people who are not, in Facebook terms, friends. If you choose to let folks subscribe to you (click here to activate) you can control what they see, and your subscribers, in turn, can fine-tune what news they want to see from you in their feed.
Obviously, this feature is a lot more useful to public figures than it is to your Average Joe (no one cares what you had for lunch, Abby Normal), so it’s no surprise that a few musicians have already joined the fold. We reached out to Facebook for a list of known acts offering subscriptions, and they pointed us toward Mark Hoppus, Snoop Dogg and Ingrid Michaelson. All performers have subscribers into the thousands, and are actively posting content on the site.
As it is to be expected, the musicians in question are not opening their entire profiles up to users, but they are, in a sense, emerging from the privacy-lined bowels of Facebook and letting users see some degree of their personal profiles.
As Hoppus says, “I just combined my public and private pages into one that uses ‘subscriptions.’ its all automatic, but now my private friends and public comments are all on the same account, but segmented. super stoked on this function. welcome to the future.”
The feature opens up some interesting doors for artists, allowing fans to feel an even closer connection to individual musicians. Yeah, a user could “Like” Blink-182 on Facebook, but now s/he can follow Hoppus’s musings right along with his “real” friends.
We could see some issues arising, however, if artists — I don’t know — get drunk and post at will. Also, now even more people have access to the “friend” button when an artist makes his profile public-ish (hello, inbox influx).
What do you think? Should bands allow fans to subscribe?
By Brenna Ehrlich