Random Thoughts

Facebook Page vs Subscribe for Educators

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facebook subscribe

Recently Facebook launched the ability to allow people to subscribe to your Facebook Profile if you so choose to turn on the functionality. As an educator I don’t think it is a good idea and I’m fearful of what this means if educators don’t understand what the Subscribe function will do.Basically Subscribe will allow any Facebook User to follow you without you knowing it or your approval making it very easy for students to subscribe to their teacher’s updates. Much like following someone on Twitter. 

Facebook also allows you to control who sees your updates…the problem is one small click and that update meant for family and friends becomes viewable to subscribers.

Also….it doesn’t control all aspects of your profile. For example, if you change your profile picture everyone, friends, family, and subscribers see it. There is no way to have one profile picture for family and friend and another for those who subscribe to your updates. So that picture of you and the family on vacation, or you and your new born, or you at that party with Mr. Jones everyone now sees. 

Facebook Pages are still the way to go for educators. They are a completely separate site…..there is no cross over from a Facebook Page to a Facebook Profile allowing educators the ability to have their friends in one spot and their students in another keeping a safe separation between the two.

Just wanted to throw it out there and think before you turn on the subscribe option in Facebook.

I started blogging in 2005 and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share my thinking about technology, this generation, and how we prepare students for their future not our past.


  1. Hi Jeff,
    Unless I’m wrong, I thought those who subscribe will only see public updates; which anyone can see anyway. The only difference being that they will now receive them in their feed rather than have to manually go to your page. If you publish nothing publicly, they will see nothing (other than what FB puts out there that we can’t control – like our profile pics).

    Did I get this wrong?


    • Jeff Utecht Reply

      Hi Lee,

      No you didn’t get it wrong….I just don’t like there is no separation. For you or I who understand how these things work I think we could hand it and would always check that we weren’t putting stuff out there public we didn’t want. However, the majority of teachers struggle with understanding permissions and it scares me on how one little slip up could make not only something public but have it show up in a student’s or parent’s Facebook stream. By not turning on the Subscribe option and setting your permissions to Friends Only teachers can protect their Facebook Profile from kids, parents and the wider community. By using a Facebook Page they keep a completely separate profile for those connections that is public by default.

  2. That is good to know. Thanks for sharing this article. I didn’t even know about the subscribe feature on Facebook. I guess it is a good thing that I use facebook as a non personal tool. So far I haven’t ever really published anything personal.

  3. I did have my FB page set to private, but I didn’t know about the subscribe feature. I really only used my FB for a recent family reunion, but I have since closed it. If I ever decide to use it again, I will make sure to use the subscribe feature. Thanks for the tip.

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