Blogging platform WordPress has been working hard lately to increase a sense of community on the site. Last month, WordPress.com users got the ability to “like” each others’ posts and today, the site is introducing a subscription feature.
Last month we compared the addition of the “like” feature to Facebook and this month, we can’t help but notice that the subscription service brings WordPress a little bit closer to fellow self-publishing platform Tumblr.
Just like Tumblr’s “Follow” feature, which allows Tumblr users to follow each other, WordPress’ subscription feature will allow users to subscribe to other WordPress.com hosted blogs. The feature is simple: Click “Subscribe to blog” on any WordPress.com blog you visit and the posts will appear in your subscriptions tab. Upon subsequent visits, users will be alerted if any blogs they’ve subscribed to have new content.
The site has also made it simple to get instant notification of new blogs posts via instant messenger.
Keeping subscriptions to on-site blogs is an important part of the feature, as it increases the reason for becoming a WordPress member, instead of running your own installation of the blogging platform. The feature is also good news for some bigger publishers, like technology blogs TechCrunch and GigaOM, which are both hosted on WordPress. As WordPress notes in its blog post, RSS feeds and readers “can be tricky to manage for a non-technical person”, and a subscription feature like this will make is easier for the non-techie.