Unsubscribing from Someone in Facebook

Facebook Subscription news feedWhat exactly does unsubscribing mean? And can the other person see that you’ve unsubscribed from them? Let’s explore.

What does it mean? First, it does not mean ‘unfriend’. There are two choices you have when you unsubscribe from someone in your News Feed (or you can go to their page and unsubscribe). In the News Feed you have:

  1. Unsubscribe from the person.
  2. Unsubscribe from status updates from the person.

The first one unsubscribes you from getting that person’s “stories” in your News Feed. The second one unsubscribes you from getting that person’s “updates” in your News Feed. So what in the heck is the difference?

The first option you get after you’ve commented on post they’ve made. Now their post is getting lots of comments and since you commented, you now become part of their “story” and thus, you are getting an update every time someone comments. “Stories” are how Facebook comprises your News Feed (since their last update), and these are posts that either a) have a photo or video, or b) have comments from people. The bland status  updates from friends who just write text, unless someone comments on them, get pushed way down to the bottom and you probably will never scroll that far to see them. However, they will appear in the News Ticker in the upper right.

The second option allows you stop getting any kind of status update that they post from now on, which is indicated in the self-select option you get when you subscribed to their feed. Oh wait, you didn’t actually subscribe to their feed, Facebook automatically subscribed you to all of your friends when they rolled out this new feature. So, you will need to go to that person’s page and click on Subscribe in the upper right and select which types of updates you want to get from that person, if any at all. If you don’t want to go through the trouble of “unfriending” and dealing with the repercussions, then unsubscribing from their status updates is a nice alternative.

The good news? Neither of these options alerts the other person. Nor does “unfriending” them. They never know you are not seeing their updates. And they only know you “unfriended” them if they go looking for you. Meaning, if they go to type your name in to tag you in a photo or post, you won’t come up automatically; and when they go to your page they will see “Send Friend Request” which will be a dead give away.

See this post for how to unfriend on Facebook since the new changes rolled out in October.

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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.


  1. barbara moyer says:

    thats funny i just did that and wondered if they would know i didnt know the person and kept getting her posts wow!! that was weird!! thanks TRACY for ansering a question i didnt ask.haaaaa

  2. I think Ive figured this out, but can you address how one blocks friends from s eeing their updates? I do not want to unfriend these individuals, but do not want them seeing anything I post. Thanks for the tips!!

    • Hi Mary, if more than one person, then you can add individually or create a list with these folks and then mark your privacy settings to “Custom” and choose to hide from this list of people or these individuals.

      Hope that helps.

  3. how can I my friend, which I unsubscribed. I can’t even find her. please help me. thank you.

    • Tracy Sestili says:

      Hi Angeline, it depends on her privacy settings for her personal profile. You may not be able to find her. Ask her for the URL to her page.

  4. I unsucscribe one of my friend and now, I can’t see her updates. How can change this back??

    Please help.
    Gourav Sharma

    • Tracy Sestili says:

      Hi Gourav, just go to your friend’s page and click subscribe again. Thanks, Tracy

  5. princess says:

    Hi! How do I unsubscribe when they are on timeline?? Please help me

    • Tracy Sestili says:

      Go to their friend page and click the subscribed button and you’ll see the option to Unsubscribe.

  6. I purposely unsubscribed from someone but every now and then i go to their profile to have a squiz. Lately they’ve been coming up in my news feed again and I have to keep going back and unsubscribing. I’m just wondering if anyone knows if Facebook automatically subscribes you to people you visit or does it have to be done manually? I’m worried someone is doing it themselves!

    • Tracy Sestili says:

      Hi Alex, it shouldn’t do that if you only “visit” – now if you like, or comment, then it will. If you are saying that it is happening when you just visit, then that sounds like a bug and you may want to check their developer blog.

  7. Victoria says:

    Hi Tracy, I have recently unsubscribed from someone on Facebook and was wondering if they will still be able to see my updates? I am concerned that if they cannot it may be a give away that I am no longer subscribed to them! Thanks very much x

    • Tracy Sestili says:

      If they are subscribed to you, then they can see your updates. The only way for them to NOT be able to see YOUR updates is if you block them.

  8. I unsubscribed to status updates by my brother and can no longer see them. Where do I go on the new profile to resubscribe to them?
    Thanks so much!

    • Tracy Sestili says:

      Hi Kate, you can go to your brother’s timeline and click the subscribe button under his cover photo.

  9. Please tell me how do I unsubscribe from “Women get it free” on facebook ??

    • Tracy Sestili says:

      If you are seeing this in your news feed, which it sounds like you are, then click on their link to go to their page and click on Unsubscribe on the right under their profile photo.

  10. The instructions to UNFRIEND from Facebook do nothing to remove someone.

    There is no action when I hover. Am I stuck with this persons photos and poor grammar and spelling forever?

    • Tracy Sestili says:

      You might be subscribed to their updates John, so go to their personal profile and see if it says Subscribed. If it does, click that and choose Unsubscribe.

  11. Does anyone know does the friend I unsubscribed him for some feeds, is unsubscribed from my post? My point is, does he\she see my posts and feeds, when I unsubscribe some feeds from him?
    Thanks! Bojan

    • Tracy Sestili says:

      Hi Bojan – just b/c you unsubscribed from your friend, doesn’t mean that they have unsubscribed from your posts. They can still see your posts if they are subscribed to you even if you unsubscribed from them.

  12. Jessie stolkrendy says:

    How can I unsusbcribe to someone who is not my friend? She doesn’t have the unsubscribe button on her profile. She is the only one I am subscribed to and she is in my timeline’s subscription. What can I do?
    Thanks, Jessie

    • Tracy Sestili says:

      You click the button that says Subscribed and a pull down will appear, you can choose unsubscribe at the bottom. If you don’t see that then I’m afraid this isn’t a case of subscribe/unsubscribe, and I’ll need more info. Cheers.

  13. Hi Tracy, This was something i was looking for a long time. I had unfriended somebody and i still kept getting the updates. This was timely and very helpful. Again thanks



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