There must be something in the water. First Facebook announced it would formalize its stalking function with a subscription feature. And today WordPress announced it will be adding a follow feature to give users another way to subscribe to a blog, in the hopes of driving traffic. It looks like Tumblr’s “follow” button only further down the page–and ends up in your inbox.
“After weeks of experimentation with different designs, locations and names, we’ve determined the addition of a small, cute, little button at the bottom of your blog will dramatically help pageviews and retention,” writes best-selling author Scott Berkun, who started working on WordPress for its parent company Automattic last year. The button shows up to “on all blogs, whenever someone who is not logged into WordPress.com visits.”
There’s no dashboard or newsfeed component, like following someone on Tumblr, Twitter, or Facebook, but it does let users put their email address so they can be notified whenever your blog has a new post.
“We don’t change feature names to be fashionable or to emulate other services that might rhyme with ‘critter’ or ‘shmacebook’,” writes Mr. Berkun, but makes no mention of “shmumblr,” a more direct platform competitor.