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I have quite a few "friends" who are people/entities whose public posts I am interested in reading, but really don't want to share with. I "friended" them long before Facebook offered the ability to "subscribe" to an account's public posts.

How can I convert those "friends" to subscriptions instead? Is there a way to do it in bulk?

Is there anything that would prevent me from subscribing to anyone I want? I did "unfriend" one such entity, but then couldn't find a way to subscribe to them, so ended up "re-friending" them.

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You can make a list of friends to whom you want to share your posts. Another option may be, unfriend and then subscribe. – user Feb 25 '12 at 18:38
@crucified: I already did the "unfriend then subscribe" thing, or tried, anyway. It seemed that unfriending also unsubscribed, and then I couldn't just subscribe to the person. – Al E. Feb 25 '12 at 21:25
Why don't you make a list of friends? When updating status, select only that list. After selecting a list, the default post visibility is assigned to that unless you choose another. – user Feb 26 '12 at 5:03

There's no "bulk" method built into Facebook for converting Friend/Subscriptions to just Subscriptions, but you can get close:

From the homepage, click "Find friends" in the left-hand bar, then "Manage friend list". That will take you to your friends list.

Just go through the list (which scrolls infinitely), and mouse over the names of people you wish to unfriend. The resulting hovercards will have two boxes, "Friends" and "Subscribed". Mouse over "Friends" and select "Unfriend".

Repeat as much as necessary. If going through all your friends is a bit too much, you can narrow down the list with the search bar at the top of your friends list.

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Sounds promising. I'll give it a try and report back. – Al E. Feb 25 '12 at 21:25
Unfortunately, the hovercards only have the "Friends" box; there's not "Subscribed". Is this a function of Timeline being active? – Al E. Mar 10 '12 at 19:50
Come to think of it, that may indeed be the case. If I recall correctly, both features appeared around the same time for me. – Tim Parenti Mar 10 '12 at 20:05
It's not related to Timeline, but it is a security setting. Unfortunately an awful lot of people have that turned off, even if they're very public and use Fbook for broadcasting. – Al E. Mar 11 '12 at 22:18
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Unfortunately, not everyone has enabled Subscriptions, so Tim's suggestion didn't work out for me.

What I ended up doing was opening each "person"'s profile (thank goodness for Ctrl-click), unfriending and, when available, subscribing to their public posts.

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If your default post permissions are Friends only, you can add those people to the special Restricted list. That's a built-in list, members of which can see only items you share publicly. This way you'll see their posts in your feed and they won't see anything from you.

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