The “Follow” feature is one of Facebook’s most underused tools. Used effectively, you can use it to communicate with almost anyone on the network, even if you’re not friends.
It works in two ways. Firstly, you can see content from other users such as celebrities, sports stars, and local journalists. Secondly, you can share some of your thoughts with the wider public, even if most of your Facebook profile remains private.
Sounds interesting? Keep reading. We’re going to take a closer look at the Follow feature and how to make it work for you.
Why is the Follow Feature Necessary?
In the social network’s early days, your Newsfeed was a chronological list of status updates and photos from people you cared about. Today, it’s a mess.
We’ve all liked too many pages and got too many friends. Nothing about your Newsfeed feels personal anymore. The Follow feature is one way to make it relevant again.
Secondly, it lets you interact with people you’re not connected with. In many ways, it’s Facebook’s answer to Twitter.
How Do You Follow and Unfollow Someone?
You automatically follow all your friends. Anyone else, you need to follow manually.
To follow someone, go to their profile page and click the Follow button. You’ll find it in the lower right-hand corner of the person’s cover photo.
If you find one of your friends posts too frequently (or just bores you with their content), but you don’t want to offend them by unfriending them, you can unfollow them instead. Unfollowing someone will prevent their posts from appearing in your Newsfeed.
To unfollow a person, navigate to their profile page and locate the Following menu (again, in the person’s cover photo).
Expand the drop-down menu, and you’ll see three options: See First, Default, and Unfollow. See First means their content gets priority in your feed. You need to select Unfollow. The person will not know you’ve unfollowed them.
How Do You See Who You’re Following?
You can see who you’re following on your friend list. Go to your profile page and select the Friends tab.
On the next screen, you’ll see a new set of tabs. Choose Following. If you don’t see the option, it means you’re not following anyone who isn’t also a friend.
How Do You Let People Follow You?
So, following other people is straightforward enough, but how do you let other people follow your profile and posts?
You need to turn on the feature in Facebook’s settings. Go to Settings > Public Posts > Who Can Follow Me and select Public from the drop-down menu.
This same page contains three other settings you need to be aware of:
- Public Post Comments: Decide whether you want to let random people comment on your public posts.
- Public Post Notifications: Do you wish to receive notifications for actions taken by individuals who aren’t your friend?
- Public Profile Info: Some of your profile – such as your profile picture, cover image, and short bio – is always public. This setting restricts who can comment on it.
What Do Followers See?
Followers can see any of your public content. Remember, this doesn’t only refer to text-based posts, you can also choose to make pictures, albums, videos, and even your likes public knowledge.
You can make a post public by clicking on the drop-down menu below the text box when you’re writing a message. You can adjust the visibility of pictures and videos in a similar way.
To make your likes and follows public, go to your profile then More > Likes. Click on the Manage icon and choose Edit the Privacy of Your Likes. For each category, you can set the desired visibility.
To make the people you’re following public knowledge, go back to More > Likes > Manage, but select Edit the Privacy of Your Follows. Set Who can see the people, Pages, and lists you follow? to Public.
How Do You See Who is Following You?
Seeing who is following you is much the same as seeing who you’re following.
Again, make your way to your list of friends. You can access it from your profile page. This time, locate the tab labeled Followers.
If you don’t have any followers, or you haven’t allowed followers in your Facebook settings, you won’t see the option.
How Can You Remove Followers?
So far, so good? Great. Next, how do you get rid of people who you don’t want to follow you anymore?
Of course, the draconian approach is just to turn off followers completely. It will remove any followers who aren’t already friends with you. For a more nuanced approach, you need to block people on a case-by-case basis.
Navigate to the profile page of the person you want to remove. In the lower right-hand corner of the person’s cover photo, click the three horizontal dots.
You now have two choices: Report or Block. If you just want to prevent someone from seeing your public content, choose Block. The person will not be able to see your timeline, tag you in posts or photos, invite you to groups, start a chat conversation with you, or add you as a friend.
If the person has been abusive, choose Report. You can either report the person’s whole profile or one individual post/comment.
Do You Use the Follow Feature?
Facebook does a poor job of explaining the power of following; the company’s solitary information page is threadbare.
Hopefully, therefore, this article has given you a better understanding of the world of Facebook following and will help you decide whether the feature is right for you.
Now it’s your turn to add to the conversation. Do you let people follow you on Facebook? Do you use the feature to manage your own Newsfeed? Which parts of the feature are still confusing?
As always, you can leave all your comments and suggestions in the comments below. And remember to share this article with your fellow Facebook users on social media.