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Enabling Following

Enabling Following

Wait a minute, you may be saying—you visited a person’s Timeline page and didn’t see a Follow button. All that was there was the normal Add Friend button, no Follow button.

That may be the case, because the follow function is not enabled by default for most users. That is, a person has to “turn on” following to have any followers.

If you’d like to have followers who aren’t necessarily friends, you need to enable the following function. Start by clicking the gear button in the Facebook toolbar and selecting Account Settings. When the next page appears, click the Followers tab in the left sidebar.

This displays the Follower Settings page. Check the Turn On Follow option, and the page expands to display some additional options. You can opt to allow or disallow follower comments on your posts, receive notifications when people choose to follow you, edit your Facebook username, and even connect your Twitter account to your Facebook account. This last option lets you post once (to either Facebook or Twitter) and have that same post duplicated on the other service.

Figure 3 Enabling following for your Facebook account.

To disable following, just return to the Follower Settings page and uncheck the Turn On Follow option.

What exactly do your followers see? Well, they don’t see items you’ve flagged as being visible only to friends. Instead, they see only your public posts, photos, and information. That means you may want to revisit your privacy settings to better determine what information you want to make publicly visible to your followers—and which you want to make more private to only your approved friends.

Why isn’t following enabled by default? Because it’s mainly devised for public figures—celebrities, journalists, politicians, and such. These are the same folks who attract large numbers of followers on Twitter, where they broadcast their news and opinions to a wide audience in a one-way fashion. Facebook would like these same folks to attract larger numbers of followers on the Facebook site, without burdening them with having to manage large numbers of two-way friends—and receive posts from all those people in their news feeds.

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