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Publishers, rejoice. Facebook has just gifted you and your reporters with an early Christmas present packaged in a powerful new tool called the Subscribe button.

The button is an off-Facebook extension of the Subscribe feature the social network first introduced in September. The social plugin can be installed on any site, just like the “Like” button, to let visitors subscribe to contributors (a.k.a. your writers, journalists, bloggers and reporters) with a single click.

The Subscribe button is already live on author pages on the, The Huffington Post, and Newsweek.

This button is a big deal. When Facebook introduced the Subscribe feature several months ago, it gave individual journalists, reporters and bloggers the power to promote themselves and their stories to larger audiences on Facebook and, in essence, drive traffic back to their articles.

I’ve managed to attract an extremely large and powerful base of subscribers who do, in fact, click on the stories I post to Facebook — in droves, I might add. (Thanks, subscribers!).

So, here’s a little note to my lovely editor and the powers that be at VentureBeat: Please install the Subscribe button as soon as possible. I’ve got 60,000 subscribers and counting on Facebook, and I could really use more. More subscribers for me, means more traffic for you, and I promise not to let the new subscribers go to my head. Okay? Thanks. Love, Jenn.

And if you want more Facebook traffic, too, you’ll want to get the buttons on your site immediately. To ignore the traffic potential that Facebook and its 800 million members can send your way would be like passing up Apple stock when it was less than a $100 a share (guilty as charged).

It’s the Facebook gift that will keep on giving — as long as the social network remains on top, of course.

[Image via bookgrl/Flickr]

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