Follow Friday or #ff on Twitter is a tradition in which people send tweets recommending Twitter users they think other people may be interested in following.
The tweets are sent on Fridays and contain the hashtag (keyword preceded by the pound symbol) #ff or #FollowFriday.
The idea is to help people figure out who to follow on Twitter by sharing usernames or Twitter handles of your favorite Twitterers, the people whose tweets you find interesting. It's all about helping people get followers on Twitter.
Follow Friday is an informal,loosely organized system that requires no registration or special formatting in order to participate. Some even consider it a game--it's mainly for fun. People do it to be good doobies and praise the people they admire.
History of Follow Friday or #FF on Twitter
The Follow Friday tradition started when a Twitter user named Micah Baldwin thought it would be a good idea for everyone to suggest people to follow in tweets. He decided to make it happen on Fridays and give it that name, Follow Friday. Another user suggested adding the #followfriday hashtag, which other people later shortened to #ff.
The Friday endorsements caught on quickly, and now a variety of sites exist to help promote them.
FollowFriday.com, for example, tracks who's being recommended and who's doing the recommendations.
FollowFridayHelper is a special app that tracks who you interact with the most on Twitter. It offers shortcuts to promote them and express gratitude to those who recommend you on Twitter.
How to Participate in Follow Friday
First, decide who you want to recommend. It's common to recommend several people at once.
Be sure you write down their Twitter user names carefully and double-check your spelling.
Now create a new tweet that starts with your list of user names to be recommended. Put the @ symbol before each Twitter user name and separate the names with a space or comma. At the end of your tweet, insert the #ff hashtag.
A typical Follow Friday tweet might be a simple list of user names and look like this:
@gogogolady @SamanthaRoyales @HarryTrinket #ff
If you have room, it's also a good idea to include a thought about why other people should follow the folks you are recommending. That works best when you are only recommending one user, or have a common reason for recommending several. The more guidance or specificity you offer, the greater the likelihood that other people will check out your suggestions. It's also a good idea to ground yourself in basic strategies for using the Twitter followers feature.
What is the Future for Follow Friday?
As Twitter has grown exponentially, the sense of fellowship and community around #FF tweets has grown harder to maintain.
Its utility does not seem to be as strong as it once was, especially as more commercial use and marketing have mushroomed on Twitter and infiltrated the Follow Friday tweets.
Yet all in all, Twitter's #Follow Friday tradition remains popular. It's an international messaging system, so it's not surprising that the end-of-week recommendation tradition has become popular around the world.