Facebook Adds an Implicit Follow Feature

As recently reported by Inside Facebook and TechCrunch, a small tweak in the “respond to friend request” screen on FB is going to make a huge impact on how many people follow (not friend) a person on FB. Yes, Facebook has a follow feature, though it’s not explicit. When you make a friend request of someone and they do not block you (left as pending) all of your public activities are streamed to their feed, just as they would be if they were following you on Twitter. You can think of this as one-sided friending.

But how many people have public activities? Lots. Since the privacy setting change from a few months back, the default setting on most activities and shares for many many users is “public”. This new tweak makes is more difficult to block friend requests – it’s now a two-step process across multiple pages –  and promotes keeping friends in pending mode with a prominent “Not now” button.

Chances are significantly more people will be exposed to shares from other websites, and theoretically with the same degree of influence.

By Patrick Salyer