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.

  • You can make a list of friends to whom you want to share your posts. Another option may be, unfriend and then subscribe.
    – user
    Commented Feb 25, 2012 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.
    – ale
    Commented Feb 25, 2012 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
    Commented Feb 26, 2012 at 5:03

3 Answers 3


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.

  • Sounds promising. I'll give it a try and report back.
    – ale
    Commented Feb 25, 2012 at 21:25
  • Unfortunately, the hovercards only have the "Friends" box; there's not "Subscribed". Is this a function of Timeline being active?
    – ale
    Commented Mar 10, 2012 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. Commented Mar 10, 2012 at 20:05
  • 1
    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.
    – ale
    Commented Mar 11, 2012 at 22:18

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.


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.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.