If you follow your favorite artists on Facebook or Twitter, you’ve undoubtably seen the madness that ensues every time they post photos or videos from on tour: Fans from everywhere else in the world act slighted, like the artist has never been to their city before. Facebook is introducing a new feature that will ensure that those riotous fans will never miss out on their favorite band when they pass through town again—though it probably won’t keep them from leaving bad comments.
Facebook’s new subscribe button allows you to follow the events section of a particular page. If you head to your favorite band’s Facebook page and go to the Events tab, there will be a “Subscribe” button waiting for you to click. Once you’ve done that, Facebook will push a notification any time one of your favorites is coming to a venue near you, appearing like an invitation to an event. Facebook will automatically suggest you subscribe to the events of artists and other interests. Your friends will be able to see events that you subscribe to and vice versa.
The addition of the subscribe button not only benefits fans who don’t want to miss an appearance by the bands they like, but also for the musicians themselves who count on their fans turning up for their shows so they can continue playing and touring.
The ability to subscribe to events marks another step in Facebook’s efforts to make its platform more friendly to artists. The social network has previously added a call to action button that sends fans to their iTunes store page to purchase music. Additionally, the inclusion of activity from music services like Spotify broadcast to the news feed can increase exposure for artists—exposure otherwise lost by the standard Facebook page which often fails to reach the number of people who actually follow it.
With communication between artists and fans becoming easier than ever with Twitter and services like SoundCloud where fans can directly comment on an artists’ song, this may be Facebook’s play to make it all the more important for artists. If the new events subscription service can turn out more fans, then Facebook can prove to be a valuable tool instead of one that feels necessary but considerably less useful and engaging.