If you’re not Facebook friends with a person, how can they see your updates on their home page? If someone is following you, how can you stop them? What is this following thing anyway? Facebook has left us with some confusion regarding friends and followers, so it’s time to clear it up.
Facebook relationships have evolved somewhat over time, leaving us with friends, followers and a weird in-between status for unprocessed friend requests. It’s not surprising that most people don’t really understand the full extent of it and what it means people are viewing. So, let’s go into some detail and answer a few big questions.
What Does It Mean To Follow Someone On Facebook?
On Facebook, following is what you do when you want to see a person’s updates but you aren’t actually friends. You see their posts, but they don’t see yours, sort of like a one-way friendship. It’s an easy way for fans to follow celebrities or public figures, without that person needing to respond in kind. I mean, why would Felicia Day want to know about my lunch? She doesn’t. But for some reason I can’t quite explain, I want to know about hers.
This doesn’t mean that following is just for celebrities, though. Some people will follow regular people just because they like the content that person makes public, much in the same way people follow Facebook interests lists. For instance, my only public updates on Facebook are via my Tumblr about food. Some of my friends-of-friends have noticed this and decided to follow me in order to see them. And this is exactly what Facebook following is for — we don’t know each other, but they like the food I like. So, they follow.
How Do I Know Who Is Following Me?
To see who is following you, check out the “About” section on your profile. Scroll down to the “Friends” box and click on “Followers”. If you want a shortcut, use this link to your followers (if you don’t have any, this link will show your regular friends).
Who Am I Following?
If you want to browse for this information, use much the same steps as above: check out the “About” section on your profile, scroll down to the “Friends” box and click on “Following”. If you want to get there quickly, use this link to see who you’re following.
Between Following And Friends
If you allow followers, there’s another way for people to follow you and that’s in the form of an unanswered or rejected friend request. If someone requests your friendship via Facebook and you don’t respond, they’ll be following you. People who you unfriend will become your followers too. You’ll see them listed in the list of your followers and they’ll still see your public updates. However, if you’re the one who unfriended them, you will no longer be following them.
What Can Followers See?
Followers can only see your public posts. To limit which updates are public, go through your settings and adjust your privacy levels as you wish. Check what your timeline looks like using the privacy settings tool in the padlocked menu at the top right of every page in Facebook. You may also wish to adjust your privacy settings to determine who can post on public posts you make.
How Do I Get Rid Of Followers?
If you want to stop allowing Followers, go to the “Followers” menu in your privacy settings. Simply un-check the “Turn On Follow” box. If it’s just one person who you wish to stop from following you, head to that person’s timeline, click on settings and choose “Report/Block” to stop them seeing anything you post on Facebook. You’ll be able to click through to that person’s timeline from your followers tab or possibly from your friend requests page (if they requested friendship).
How Can I Cancel A Friend Request Or Stop Following Someone?
If you have requested a friendship and found yourself merely a follower (or want to cancel the request for some other reason), it is possible to cancel the friendship request. It’s also possible to stop following someone the same way. Head to that person’s timeline and you’ll see “Friend Request Sent” or “Following” in the top right of their timeline. Click on that and choose “Cancel request” or “Unfollow”.
So, with Facebook followers, you can use your public posts much the same as you would on Twitter, with hashtags and all. You know anyone could be reading them, so keep track of what you’re posting publicly and who can comment on these posts. Good luck!
Do you allow people to follow your public posts on Facebook? Why/Why not?