Did Twitter Just Kill Off Follow Fridays?

Filed as News on July 31, 2010 1:16 pm

Considered by many to be an ancient tradition of the twitterverse, “follow Fridays” (symbolized by the #followfriday or #ff hash tags) has been one of the primary ways at finding new friends on Twitter.

Taking a cue from its users, Twitter has created a feature that will help fans find friends with similar tastes without spamming their tweet streams with hash tags and usernames.

With more than a hundred million users on Twitter, there are sure to be at least dozens of accounts out there that will reflect your interests. The trouble is finding all of them. Today we’re beginning to roll out a simple, but powerful new feature to help address that — “Suggestions for You”. The algorithms in this feature, built by our user relevance team, suggest people you don’t currently follow that you may find interesting. The suggestions are based on several factors, including people you follow and the people they follow. You’ll see these suggestions on Twitter.com and the Find People section. If you like a suggestion, click “follow”; if you don’t, click “hide,” and we’ll try not to suggest that user again. (Official Twitter Blog)

While far from perfect, Social Follow helps users passively find new friends, which is a better alternative to the fire hose of follow Fridays that flood the service.

The tool may also help Twitter combat spammers, trolls, and self appointed marketing guru’s (who are always seeking attention) by helping new users connect with people that interest them.

Twitter has not indicated one way or another whether companies would be able to pay to be recommended to users (something businesses would gladly pay for), but for now it looks like Social Follow may help the twitterverse feel much more connected (minus the hash tags of course!).

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  1. By Hugh Briss posted on July 31, 2010 at 4:42 pm
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    I take it the title was meant to be sensational? Why in the world would this kill follow friday’s? People can still recommend others they like and recommend following whether there’s another way to find people or not.

    Reply

  2. By Darnell Clayton posted on July 31, 2010 at 4:48 pm
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    Hey Hugh,

    True, people can still recommend users, but as this feature makes its way throughout third party apps we may see follow Fridays become history (as Social Follow is much easier, at least for pros and newbie’s).

    Reply

  3. By Don posted on July 31, 2010 at 9:36 pm
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    Twitter lists didn’t kill TweetDeck or other apps that organize Twitter and this won’t kill Follow Friday. As @hughbriss points out, I make my Follow Friday recommendations based on those I follow whom I consider to be worth following, not the ones Twitter thinks we should follow.

    Reply

  4. By Liz posted on August 1, 2010 at 9:04 am
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    When Twitter changed their algorithm for Trending Topics, it effectively removed popular hashtags (#FollowFriday, #MusicMonday, #NowPlaying) from trending on its Top 10 list. You can still see who people you follow are recommending but Twitter did, it their way, ban #FollowFriday from being a Trending Topic.

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  5. By Sarah posted on August 1, 2010 at 1:24 pm
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    Maybe we don’t *want* it “easier”. Dumbing things down made Facebook exponentially worse. So did its constantly recommending things to us. Give us credit for being able to think and innovate on our own. That is what built the Internet. (And get off my lawn.)

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  6. By Rick posted on August 1, 2010 at 4:28 pm
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    Sorry, Darnell, FollowFriday will never be killed off. I would trust recommendations made by the people I follow decades before I would trust ones made by Twitter…especially if, as you suggest the possibility of, businesses are allowed to pay to have Twitter recommend them.

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  7. By intel_chris posted on August 1, 2010 at 5:00 pm
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    There are some things that twitter is misunderstanding here. One of the key features of twitter is its use as word-of-mouth recommendations. Automated similarity measures can never replace that. Follow Friday may have its problems, but at its core it is a word-of-mouth recommendation system that makes it integral to how people use twitter.

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  8. By Jeff posted on August 1, 2010 at 7:09 pm
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    Anything that means I dont have to spend hours on #ff reccomendations is good for me!!

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  9. By 4WallsRentals posted on August 4, 2010 at 9:31 pm
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    It’s been down today so it looks like it might have died out as quickly as it started? I’m kind of mixed on it and likened it to Facebook’s “People You May Already Know” feature. It didn’t necessarily mean that you knew any of the people on there. If anything it just offered up friendly suggestions and showed how many of our followers followed The Onion. But wether its done or still going it definitely doesn’t kill off Follow Friday. #FF is a lot more personable and succeeds in paying it forward to the people that you really pay attention to. and therefore it serves a purpose that the other feature could never live up to.

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  10. By bronxelf posted on August 16, 2010 at 8:24 am
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    Well, since I managed to completely eliminate *both* “who to follow” and “trending topics” permanently from my sidebar using adblockplus (thank goodness), I don’t have twitter telling me who I should follow (usually it’s people I know and don’t WANT to follow) and trending topics, which I usually find asinine.

    #FF lives on for those of us not interested in being nannied by twitter.

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  11. By Versante Apartments posted on December 3, 2010 at 10:59 pm
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    Is it just me or is it getting harder and harder to keep up with what is the latest twitter trend and what’s dead. I felt like I had just learned about #FF and now it’s dead? Holly cow this stuff is hard for me to follow. What’s the saying? “I may be slow, but it’s okay because I do poor work”.

    TGIF (or is that dead too?)

    Reply

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