Facebook represented a revolution of the internet since its birth. Not only it has changed the way we interact with other people, thanks to the ability to post updates, send private messages or join groups, but it also represented a sort of ‘internet within the internet’, being Facebook an entire ecosystem in which you can look for information, play games, watch videos and, in general, do many things you generally do when you surf the internet, but just inside a single platform. The main concept on which Facebook is based is the ability of people to build friendships with other people: these friendships are, at the fact, ways of connecting with other people on the platform. Some people tend to build these virtual relationships just with their real friends but, at the fact, it is very common for many Facebook users to make friends on the platform with several people they may have not even seen in their life. Facebook has contributed to improve social relationships among people who have understood its potential, while it has also made other people base their whole life on that platform and feel importance or gratification just for that additional like or friend request received by someone, by becoming sometimes addicted to the platform. Despite this, Facebook remained and still remains a useful platform it can be useful if used correctly. As written before, the social network is based on the idea of building virtual friendships with other people, but there is also another way of connecting with other users: following them. This article is going to explain what happens when you follow someone on Facebook and what are the differences with the friendship feature.
What happens when you add someone to your Facebook friends
When you add someone to your Facebook friends you are basically adding them to your private circle of trusted contacts. This means that they will have some benefits compared to other people:
- they can see your posts, photos, videos and other information you have chosen to share only with your friends;
- they can send you private messages to your main inbox, so that you get notification of what they have sent;
- they can invite you to events;
- they can write on your Facebook wall if you have enabled this feature.
What happens when you follow someone on Facebook
Following someone on Facebook is different than adding them as friends. Following is not much different from what happens with Instagram, Twitter or YouTube: it means you are going to get updates of new activity made by the user you are following. Still, there are very big differences between following someone and adding them as friends:
- following someone means you can get their public posts, photos and videos in your news feed: still, you are not going to see the stuff they decided to share with only their friends;
- if you send a private message to someone you are just following, there is high change that message will be moved to the secondary inbox: the user is not going to receive notification and so there is strong chance they will never ever read your message;
- your interaction with the user you are following is limited: you may comment their public posts if they have enabled the feature, but still you have less ways of keeping in touch with that user as someone you’re just following;
- while one can have no more than 5000 friends on Facebook, followers are unlimited: that’s the reason why celebrities owning personal profile instead of a page can benefit much more from being followed by their fans instead of adding them as friends.
What’s the best usage of friendship and following features
Friendships on Facebook should be kept for staying in touch with people that are part of our life, even if it often happens to add as friends also people that are not effectively known in the real life. Still, the limit of 5000 friends and the privacy implications make it a good idea to be followed by people who are interested in seeing our stuff: this is even more important for a famous celebrity, a journalist or other people who use Facebook to connect with their fandom, as the limit of 5000 friends can make it impossible for a celebrity to make friend with all their fans.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.