WordPress.com adds a new Follow button

September 21, 2011

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Hosted blogging platform WordPress.com has today, Wednesday, launched a new feature that they hope will help blog owners increase pageviews and retain site visitors – a Follow button.

A small Follow button now appears in the bottom right-hand corner of WordPress.com websites to visitors who are not logged in. When users click on the button a small ‘Follow this Blog’ form appears, allowing users to subscribe with their email address and receive updates whenever new content is posted.

A small Follow button appears in the bottom right-hand corner

A small Follow button appears in the bottom right-hand corner

Users can then subscribe to blog updates with their email address

Users can then subscribe to blog updates with their email address

Some may wonder why name the button Follow and not Subscribe? WordPress’ Scott Berkun describes how user testing revealed that visitors were more likely to click the Follow button rather than a Subscribe button, as the latter contained connotations of a paid-for service.

“Although the functionality is similiar to the Email subscription widget, after testing various prototypes, we learned more people clicked on the button and signed up if it were called Follow rather than Subscribe. We also know subscribe suggests to some its something you pay for, whereas follow has no such connotation.”

The new Follow button can easily be turned off in users’ WordPress.com settings.

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Darren McCarra

Darren McCarra is co-editor of The Sociable. He has a keen interest in photography, all things mobile, and writing about technology and social media. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

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