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Facebook friend versus follower: What is the difference?

What is the difference between a Facebook friend and follower?
What is the difference between a Facebook friend and follower?
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

On Facebook, there are different ways to connect, depending on what type of page a person has set up on the social media network. There are Facebook friends, and there are followers. So, the question is: What is the difference between a Facebook friend versus follower?

What is a Facebook friend?

A friend is someone who connects with someone via his or her personal profile page on the social network. To connect, one of those two people must send a request message to the other one, who then accepts it and grants the individual permission to view the profile.

Now that they are friends, they both can view any posts that are shared publicly on those profile pages or at the friends’ privacy level on those pages. The posts will also appear in their page streams, along with content their other friends post on the social network. Friends can leave comments on the images, articles and videos and even post to the other person’s page, provided that he or she allows this setting on the page.

What is a Facebook follower?

In contrast, a person is a follower if he or she gets notifications of a person's or business's updates on Facebook, but has never sent a friend request to them. Once a person hits the like button on this person's or business's page, then he or she can see any posts that share to the public. The person whose page received the initial like, however, doesn't see what the person who liked their page posts (it is not reciprocal viewing unless both people have pages and both like one another's pages).

Often, it is celebrities that have Facebook followers. Usually, the term for these pages is “fan page.” The number of likes shown at the top of the celebrity’s page is the number of Facebook followers. For example, Taylor Swift currently has over 54 million likes on her official page.

Summing it up: Friend versus follower?

So, let's conclude about the friend versus follower differences. Someone is a Facebook friend if he or she had to send a request to another person to see their profile page. If no such request was sent to the person, or if it is a business page, then the person follows the particular page. He or she receives post notifications (without them getting any reciprocal notifications). And so, the difference between friend versus follower is explained.

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