Sometimes, small changes can make all the difference – and that’s why Facebook will soon replace its Subscribe button with a Follow button.
Facebook has been undergoing testing to find ways to best engage influencers and fans using the site. The social network took a page from Twitter and introduced the Subscribe button in September 2011, allowing you to get updates from people you weren’t friends with – similar to the act of following someone on Twitter. The major purpose of this feature is to allow users to connect with celebrities, journalists, politicians, and the like. Inside Facebook reports that Facbeook has reportedly been working on a subscribe button for pages, as well. Users would be able to see the content from brands that they’re interested it but not yet committed to “liking.”
While Facebook hesitated, for obvious reasons, to make a more direct correlation to Twitter’s with using the same language when it first introduced, it’s caving now and will replace Subscribe with Follow.
There aren’t any changes to the buttons or how it functions, for the record. Instead the update is simply a superficial change. Instead of seeing sites and users within and outside of Facebook advertising a Subscribe button, it will read Follow. That’s it, we promise. Since the Subscribe button can also be found not only on third-party sites, the word change will take effect in user’s Facebook Interest Lists.
Facebook had this to say in a statement:
“Starting today we are 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. Nothing is changing about how the feature works.”
While Twitter isn’t like to take action for Facebook’s adoption of the term, it is worth noting that the social network is in legal trouble for a similar reason. A complaint was filed against Facebook by CVG-SAB for infringing on the company’s trademark over almost identical Want buttons that serve similar purposes.