Tag Archives: SMS

Subscribe to Friends’ Facebook Status Updates via SMS

Common questions about Facebook’s new “subscribe via SMS” feature. Scroll down to see all the answers or click on a specific question:

What is “subscribe via SMS” on Facebook?

“Subscribe via SMS” is the ability to recieve a friend’s status notifications on your mobile phone through text messages.

How can I “subscribe via SMS”?

Go to the profile page of the person whose status updates you’d like to receive by text message on your mobile phone. Under their profile picture, you will see a list of options. “Subscribe via SMS” should be one of the options. Click on “subscribe via SMS”. It’s that easy!

Shana's Facebook Profile

How do I add “subscribe via SMS” to my Facebook account?

From what I can tell there is no way to add the “subscribe via SMS” to one’s profile. This option is “turned on” by Facebook and should simply appear. Note that you will not see this option if you’re looking at your own profile. I would recommend asking a friend to log-in and go to your profile in order to see if the “Subscribe via SMS” option is present.

Why can’t don’t I see “subscribe via SMS” on a friend’s Facebook account?

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but mostly your friend has restricted your access (or perhaps everyone’s access) to their status updates.

Can I change my settings so that Facebook friends can’t “subscribe via SMS” to my updates?

At this point, anyone who is able to see your status updates can choose to subscribe to them. To change who sees your Facebook status updates, go to Facebook’s Profile Privacy page and change the “Status and Links” settings accordingly.

Can someone tell whether I’ve “subscribed via SMS” to someone’s updates?

Currently, there is no way for someone to check whether you have subscribed to their status messages.

Can I tell who has “subscribed via SMS” to my status updates?

Currently, there is no way for you to see who has subscribed to your status messages.

When I reply to a status by SMS, why does it go to that person’s inbox? Is there a way to change it?

Yes, the current functionality of replying by SMS means that the person will get your reply in their Facebook inbox. There is no way to change this setting at the present time.

What is the cost of subscribing to receive a Facebook friend’s statuses by SMS?

There is not additional cost to receive status updates by phone… You will be charged the same as receiving a regular SMS. (This is dictated by your wireless plan provider.)

Is there a way to subscribe to all my friends’ status updates?

At this time, I do not believe that there is a way to subscribe to all your friends at once — and with good reason. I would expect that this could be dangerous depending on the number of Facebook connections one has.

I have other questions about “subscribe via SMS” that you haven’t answered. Where can I learn more?

Simply leave your question in the form of a comment below and I will do my best to help you.

Advertising: Coming To A Phone Near You

Tonight, I attended the December MobileMonday DC meeting which focused on “Electioneering in the Mobile Age” and had an impressive speaker line-up with representatives from the Giuliani and Obama presidential campaigns as well as from Rock the Vote. The conversation centered around if/how each organization incorporated a mobile messaging component into their overall strategy this past Election season.

Here are five interesting facts I learned:

  • 77% of Americans under the age of 24 use SMS
  • Rock the Vote observed higher SMS opt-in rates among Latinos, African-Americans, women, those under 30, and those living on the coasts. (I might have had that written down incorrectly, it might just be East Coast…)
  • The Obama for President Committee found high value in texting people on Election Day to inform them of polls that were kept open late, but were unable to find a viable way to message Americans oversees, due to the variety and number of possible systems they would have to test and integrate.
  • Rock the Vote and the Obama for President Committee both had multilingual mobile campaign components – RTV had a Spanish mobile site and each was able to answer texts in a variety of languages
  • The Rudy Giuliani for President Committee did not include mobile messaging as part of their overall strategy with obstacles including the perception that SMS was not appropriate for the target demographic (older audience) and the cost was too high

In the future we’ll be seeing other entities incorporate mobile campaigns into their marketing strategies through the use of optimized websites, iPhone Apps, and SMS (text messaging). SMS is a key component of a successful mobile campaign because of its guaranteed deliverability, ease and speed of use, and the two-way interaction that it facilitates.

And as these mobile campaigns become more commonplace, we’ll see higher levels of sophistication and integration between different social media avenues – in other words, people will be texted a link to a website, they’ll view the optimized website, which perhaps has a YouTube video embedded, and will then share the video with their friends on FaceBook.

As a marketing professional, it a relief to know there’s a new medium out there which is successful in getting information to the public. But as an individual, this all concerns me.

Of course, there’s a distinction between opt-in marketing campaigns, where you’ve elected to receive the texts, but I’m already experiencing unsolicited advertising coming through with AT&T/Apple sending me promotional texts. (They have my number since they are my mobile service provider.). It’s only a matter of time before all the junk I’m getting in my email comes to my phone and clutters that space as well.

SO – What do you think? Are text messages a way you’d want to get information from your political candidates and other companies? Or is your phone a sacred safe zone where ads don’t belong?