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Do you really think that sending a virtual wall of Twitter usernames at everybody you know is going to be read? This may help you to realize a bit of what you may not have known about the Twitter hashtag #FollowFriday. First, you should know that retweeted FollowFriday endorsements do not count, but if you don’t know what I mean by that, you should read the rest of this before you send a single FollowFriday tweet.
Where FollowFriday Began
FollowFriday began as an idea for endorsing other Twitter users who provide value to your network. Here is the blog post showing where it all got started. At the time, surely nobody suspected that it would cause such a clutter for Twitter users each Friday, the way it is today.
How Does FollowFriday Really Work?
In short, the real benefit of FollowFriday only comes if you are heavily endorsed. It is measured, and it is tracked at TopFollowFriday, TweepleRank, and perhaps others. It can surely not be presumed that you should try to follow each Twitter user that comes to you with a FollowFriday hashtag, as that would be impossible. However, I have wondered what relatively new users, or those unfamiliar with these ranking sites must think when they see that wall of names that is circulated each Friday.
Where is FollowFriday Today?
FollowFriday is largely comprised of Spam. I cannot imagine that you do this, but I certainly do not go through each FollowFriday that comes to me and try to frantically follow each one of those great treasures who received an endorsement. I use TweetDeck to filter out the FollowFriday hashtag. Otherwise I would miss all of the important tweets from friends and colleagues that I wish to read.
Maybe some people try to keep up with all of the so-called endorsements, but surely not for very long. There are following limits set by Twitter regarding how many Twitter feeds you can add in a day. Surely nobody who follows many people can even conceivably follow all of those Twitter feeds, much less actually look at each profile to see what they are getting into.
The hard cap set by Twitter allows you to follow 1000 new people per day, and not to exceed 110% of the people following you. If you have under 2000 followers, the cap for following is the greater of 2000 users or 110% of those following you. Understanding this cap as it relates to the volume of FollowFriday spam, you can see how this becomes unsustainable. FollowFriday becomes as much a crap shoot as just choosing from a random selection of Twitter users.
Don’t Retweet FollowFriday Endorsements!
Retweeting FollowFriday endorsements is where the real spam comes in. First, you should know that retweets do not count toward the measure of FollowFriday popularity as I described above.
By following over 11,000 people on Twitter, (and I mean following … if you tweet me, I will see it) I have a pretty good perspective on FollowFriday. Retweets, in my experience, account for about four tweets to each one endorsement. I find from a random sampling of FollowFriday tweets that many of the people presumably endorsing me are not even following me nor do they know a thing about me. How is that an endorsement? It is NOT! That is why I call it spam.
FollowFriday Done Properly
If you want to give somebody a proper FollowFriday recommendation, make it clear. Include why you think they are a good person to follow. Say something clever or meaningful and make it original. If you see a FollowFriday endorsement from me, it may just say something like “Follow Yoon (@yoonhoum) because he is sharp as a pitchfork”.
It is best if you do not include more than one or two, but maximum of three people in your endorsement. Sending a tweet full of usernames will not do your friends any favors, and it will not make you more popular with most people. Please note that with over 20,000 public tweets sent and 1000 direct messages per day, I use Twitter enough to make this observation.
I welcome your FollowFriday endorsement, and I consider a real endorsement an honor. On the other hand, I consider it a disrespect of the purpose of Twitter as a communication tool when I see a huge wave of tweets from people retweeting something they never even reviewed.
Please Share Thoughts on FollowFriday
I want to hear it from you. What do you think of FollowFriday? Has this changed your perspective any? Do you agree? Do you disagree? Share it with the rest of us and leave your comment here on the blog. Also, please be kind to your fellow Twitter user and click here to retweet this.
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