I took a look at the number of subscribers to my blog and realized that even though I hadn't received any notifications in over a month, I had new subscribers. I sent a question to wordpress support, asking why that was and if I needed to turn on a function on the site that I'd somehow turned off (I thought I'd done something wrong).
This was the reply:
"We recently changed how notifications for new followers works. In the past you would have received a message stating you had a new follower, but unless the new follower had their own account on Gravatar or WordPress, we had no way of confirming their identity. The notifications system has changed to alert you only when the new follower has an established account here on WordPress.com or on Gravatar."
I don't know the reasoning why confirming their identity is so important to the notification process, but I think it's a really, really, really bad idea. I WANT to know when I have new subscribers, particularly since I run contests and participate in blog hops to gain new ones. Once I receive the alert, I send my subscribers an email with freebie information as a "thank you" for following.
So, to the powers that be, please turn this function back on. This is the type of function available with other subscription services, such as MailChimp. I shouldn't have to keep checking in to see if I have new subscribers. If people complained about it, then make it a function that is optional, which can be turned on or off with a check box. That way, those of us who found it useful can still use it.