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Facebook Subscribe Lets You Follow Non-Friends a la Twitter

You've probably seen notifications on your newsfeed that some of your Facebook friends have "started getting subscribers." Confusing much? If you haven't opted into this new feature, you might be wondering what it entails exactly. Here's the basic lowdown.

If you activate the subscription option via the Allow Subscribers button, you're enabling anyone on Facebook—not just your friends—to receive your updates (status updates, photos, and anything else that you post to your wall). Many users are already comparing Subscribe to Twitter, and the basic concept is the same.

If you opt into this feature, you're automatically subscribed to all your Facebook friends, and you can specify which updates you receive from different people by clicking on the Subscribe button on their profile page. You can also customize what your subscribers can and can't see, so your crazy party pics can stay within your circle of friends if you set the post's privacy level accordingly.

On the flipside, you can use the Subscribe feature to keep up with celebrities, public figures, and other interesting characters who aren't your friends on Facebook. This means you'll get all their public updates without crossing that ever-so-important boundary of friending strangers.

So how is all this new functionality different from the standard Facebook newsfeed/Like setup? In short, Subscribe gives you greater access to people on Facebook, porting updates for celebs and friends alike on your newsfeed and letting you decide what you do and don't want to hear about. But these are a lot of words to describe a feature that's really just meant to improve your social-networking experience, so for best results, give it a whirl for yourself.