Has #FollowFriday On Twitter Worn Out Its Welcome?

by Robb Sutton

Follow Friday has been a part of Twitter almost since the beginning. The idea is to recommend people you follow to your followers to increase the viral spreading and introduce new people they might be interested in. Now…like anything else on the Internet, #followfriday or #ff has attracted a swarm of spamming and “copy and paste” action that has diluted its effectiveness on Twitter. While I always appreciate any mentions on Follow Friday, I too have started to ignore it as the same stuff keeps popping up every Friday like clockwork. So the question becomes…

Has #FollowFriday Worn Out Its Welcome?

While I could ponder this question in a nice, quiet room by myself, that would solely be my opinion and who really wants to hear that anyway?! So…I went to the source. I hit up Twitter and asked…

Does anyone pay attention to #ff anymore? I always appreciate the mentions, but does anyone use it effectively?

Now…let’s take a look at the responses…


@robbsutton I followed 10+ new tweeps today due to #ff. If you only do a couple posts and say why you like, I look at ones that interest me


@robbsutton No, unless the recommending person includes some compelling reason for their #ff choices.


@robbsutton I like the #FF which give reason(s) as to why someone recommends following that person.


@robbsutton I used to do #FF all the time, fell off, but in past few wks have started again. I’ve found really gr8 people in #FF recommends.


@robbsutton I agree. I think that we pretty much follow all the same people already within our interests!


@robbsutton I’ve never found it the least bit effective, too much #ff spam where people recommend entire lists in the hope of reciprocity.


@robbsutton Its still one of Twitter’s biggest trending topics when you look at the figures


@robbsutton I find other beer blogs to participate in when people list out a bunch of people to #FF


@robbsutton I’m trying to figure that one out myself.

Bottom Line From My View On #FollowFriday

As you can see by some of the responses, there is a mixed bag of opinions regarding Follow Friday. I really think it all boils down to quality (like most things). If you are recommending other Twitter users with a reason why, then people pay attention. If you are just copying and pasting every Friday like a machine, you lose the punch that comes with recommending other people on Twitter.

Regardless, I think Follow Friday is pretty much here to stay on Twitter, but to use it effectively…you need to make your Tweet stand out from the rest by providing something different. Do not just throw up #ff and a bunch of names. Try a different tact that draws attention to you Tweet and screams, “THESE ARE QUALITY PEOPLE ON TWITTER!”. Just don’t use caps…that is really annoying.


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Rich March 17, 2010 - 1:21 pm

Although I can see *some* value in FF, it got annoying…quick. As much as I like to connect with new people, I agree…unless there is a valid and informative reason as to why a connection with others via a FF flood is feasible, I no longer see the worth.

My pair ‘o pennies.

Jewelry Secrets March 17, 2010 - 2:06 pm

FF anoys me and I have never participated in it. All the tweets you get on fridays are f this and f that. It gets rather boring and spammy. If I like a person, I’ll generally see who they are following. That gives me a better idea of who I would like to follow as well.

Robb Sutton March 18, 2010 - 7:43 am

I check the same thing. If I am conversing with someone who actively uses Twitter for more than promoting their own stuff…I’ll check out who they are following.

adrienne March 17, 2010 - 4:34 pm

It’s annoying. Even two minutes I see a tweet with 5 twitter names and then those five retweet it. Since I follow most of them because we blog about the same thing I can see 10#ff tweets.

Chris Jordan March 17, 2010 - 6:28 pm

IMO, too much of FF is out of obligation, and the “authentic transparency” has turned phony. And that phoniness has become really, really obvious with some.

I’m all for the “pay it forward/we are the world” idea of social media, but there are better ways to achieve that authenticity – like writing blog testimonials about others, or taking time to comment on other people’s blogs.

There is so much going on on Twitter all the time, that I don’t need FF to find good people.

Robb Sutton March 18, 2010 - 7:41 am

I find that personal recommendations work a lot better than #ff these days. Everyone has become numb to the constant lists on Twitter and the spammers that try to capitalize on it.

Maren Kate March 17, 2010 - 8:37 pm

Yes, gosh yes it is!! I am so sick of #FF because it has lost all meaning, I never follow anyone others FF nor do I send out FF myself…

James Schipper March 18, 2010 - 2:18 pm

I have rarely done it, except for mentioning a few people and WHY people should check them out. The people who have 3-4 pre-written tweets that just spew a wall of names every week are pretty annoying.

I used to rarely click on an occasional name to see what someone was about, but I tend to just tune those tweets out completely now. Only a few people I follow still do that — most of them stopped being followed long ago.

Thomas Levin March 21, 2010 - 8:01 pm

What I have been trying to do in my own niche, is to keep up with the list system. Instead of blogging out a #ff I instead try and invite people to follow the list full of the guys in my niche. I make individual mentions to those people I may have added to the list through the week. It helps annoy people less as it will be much more targeted instead of a copy and paste of your followers names


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