R.I.P. Follow Friday


Is there a less satisfying recommendation than Twitter’s #followfriday a.k.a. #FF?

For those unfamiliar with Follow Friday – allow me to give you a brief introduction.  Every Friday, many Twitter users make recommendations on who other people should follow by providing a list of user names followed by the hashtag #FollowFriday or #FF.

So why should we get rid of this seemingly innocent Twitter custom?

Because the practice has become useless spam.  Another piece of content to ignore or delete.  The problem is simple: There is absolutely zero context to a Follow Friday tweet.

Ask yourself this question.

When was the last time you followed someone on Twitter because of a Follow Friday recommendation?

I can say confidently the answer is: Never.

Think about the other recommendation engines we rely on.  Would you buy a book on Amazon if the reviewer wrote the author’s name?  Would you try a restaurant reviewed on Yelp if the reviewer simple wrote the restaurant’s name?  Of course not.  We want details.  For a book we want to know the basics first.  Is it fiction?  Nonfiction?  What genre is it?  Is it short or long?  Hardcover or soft?  Then we want details from the reviewer such as why did they like it?  Or why did you they hate it?  What other book is it like?  What was special or unusual about it?

Details.  We want details.

Alas, that’s the missing ingredient with Follow Friday.  A complete lack of information.  Too many questions go unanswered:

  • Why should I follow this person?
  • What do they write (tweet) about?
  • How often do they tweet?
  • Are they informative?  Funny?  Entertaining?  Thoughtful?  Controversial?  Sarcastic?
  • Are they even real?

You get the picture.  Context is everything.  We no longer live in times when blind recommendations will be taken carte blanche.  As result, Follow Friday has become obsolete and has run its course of usefulness.

What about you?  Are you still participating in Follow Friday?  Do you follow people based on Follow Friday recommendations?

Links:

O Twitter How Thou Can Annoy!

9 Responses to “R.I.P. Follow Friday”

  1. I’ve been wondering about this one myself. I do pay attention to FollowFriday mentions IF they are from people I know pretty well, or if they contain reasons to follow that fall within my interests.

    However, the giant lists of @mentions with a #FF in front don’t really get my attention. Do you think we should all just stop, or try to make them more relevant by listing only one person at a time, and the reasons to follow them?

  2. Hi Mandy:
    I think we should end #FF. If you feel strongly about recommending your followers to follow someone else you should make the recommendation with the reasons behind it. On any day you feel like doing it.

  3. I like it – this way I can also alleviate my #FF guilt on those days I get too busy to remember it’s Friday.

  4. I don’t do it personally — but I do encourage it for businesses who have a hard time being social as a way of acknowledging selected new followers.

  5. Making recommendations is fine – with a reason behind it. And there’s no reason you have to do it on Fridays.

  6. George, You seem very passionate about this issue – some might say disproportionately passionate. I mean, who am I to tell you what to get excited about? But then who are you to say “we” should end follow Friday?

    Though I agree with pretty much every one of your points, I don’t necessarily buy into the conclusion you make. I’d suggest that what “we” need to do away with is the idea that tweeters have some kind of moral obligation to #FF. Following your own logic, if people want to do it, fine let them. The rest of us need not get our panties in a bunch.

    Your cry for details and context is not without merit; but let’s remember that twitter itself is built on a platform that devalues these concepts by strictly limiting messages to 140 characters. Tweets are, by nature, generally devoid of details, save for a handy link-shortened hyperlink.

    If someone sends you a #FF tweet and you see a username that piques your interest, it is very easy to click on the user name and bring up their profile, bio, and read a sample of their recent tweets. For me, this generally provides all the detail/context I require to make a decision that I’m comfortable with.

    Let us also not forget that many folks use the #FF tweet to welcome a recent follower or as a very public way to express some gratitude to a particularly valued follower. Only a portion of the worth in a #FF tweet can be found in the actual recommendation(s) it provides.

  7. Hi Jeff:
    While no fan of #FF this post was written mostly for fun. Pointing out how we can all fall into habits that provide no value and doing things just because we are supposed to. I’m not telling anyone what they can or cannot do. That’s up to them.

    The giveaway should be the overly dramatic illustration. I appreciate your comments and enjoyed reading your perspective. Hope to hear more from you.

    And who am I to have the nerve to call out #FF? I’m a guy with a blog. That’s all.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. is follow friday becoming a thing of the past? | bowden2bowden blog - November 11, 2013

    […] And if a recommendation is made, they want to know why they should follow them. They want more details, so they don’t end up following spam or someone whose tweets will become annoying […]

  2. Is Follow Friday Becoming A Thing Of The Past? - November 26, 2013

    […] And if a recommendation is made, they want to know why they should follow them. They want more details, so they don’t end up following spam or someone whose tweets will become annoying […]

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