September 3, 2013
Over the years, we've gotten a lot of questions about what the difference is between Subscribing to someone and being Friends with them. As you guys know:
* You Subscribe to someone when you want to follow all of their updates on their blog.
* You Friend someone (and they friend you back) to create a closer relationship. Friendships also control privacy features (like Friends Lock) and are two-way relationships: you can't just friend someone... they have to agree to friend you back.
Both features let you do some pretty cool things. So we made a list of what we like most about them:
* The ability to easily see someone else's updates
* The privacy of being able to approve people before they can see your content.
That said, it definitely confused people that both features did something similar and yet had such different names... and also that there was no one place to manage them both. So we addressed the first by tweaking the name... and renamed subs and friends into a single feature called, you guessed it, Following and Approved Followers.
It really works very similar to how Xanga worked before, but with just a new name:
* FOLLOWING: If you want to subscribe to someone's updates, you just go to their site and click the follow link. (If you want to stop getting their updates, just click unfollow.). Basically, just like a Subscription.
* FOLLOWER'S LOCK: You can also still lock your site so that only users who are following you can access your site at all. This is similar to how Friends Lock worked.
* APPROVED FOLLOWERS: If you want to approve all of your followers before they can see your content, just set your site privacy to Follower Lock. Then when someone attempts to follow you, their username will automatically be held for you to approve on your follower page.
(And for the record, you can still restrict access to your site to anyone who is sign into Xanga. This is still called Signin Lock!)
But in addition, you can now manage what was once two separate things (friends and subs) in a new and single page... your Following page linked from your site dashboard!
We hope that this approach is a little bit simpler and more intuitive... let us know if you have any questions!