Facebook is always trying to find new and interesting ways to promote content and make it more easily accessible. Social share features have increased the reach of Facebook, by integrating them with websites and encouraging people to share sites on their wall and on their friends’ walls. To further increase their reach, Facebook has announced that they are adding a new feature: RSS feeds for fan pages.
RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It is usually reserved for blog posts. It’s what allows you to receive updates in blog readers like Google Reader, where you can easily see all posts by their headlines. Many people use RSS readers for their favorite blogs, so they can keep up with them without having to go to the blogsites. Some readers allow you to receive blog posts in your email, sending you the contents of the posts. But why does Facebook want to add an RSS feed to fan pages?
In theory this will let someone essentially subscribe to a fan page. Not only will you be able to see updates in your news feed, you will also be able to receive posts in your RSS reader. This is good for people who need to monitor certain pages, like politicians or large corporations. If you are closely watching what a competitor is doing with their social media, this creates an easy venue in which to do it. However, the RSS feature is not likely to be valuable to people who are not using Facebook for professional reasons.
Some of you may be thinking: Facebook had an RSS feed for pages already, so why is this news? You are right, they did. But recently Twitter and Facebook quietly removed their RSS feeds. Now Facebook has added it back in, along with a link on fan pages to subscribe. Will Twitter follow suit and bring their feed back? Good question. I think they will. An RSS feed provides another way for people to consume content, and ultimately that is key to social media social media success.