November 27th, 2009 | by Vadim Lavrusik
When Twitter Lists were first rolled out to everyone, some people questioned how the feature would effect the long tradition of #followfriday, a weekly event on which Twitter users recommend different tweeps they enjoy for various reasons. Though Twitter Lists are changing the way some people participate in #FollowFriday, they have have actually not lowered the number of tweeps participating.
#FollowFriday recommendations come in all shapes and sizes. Some people broadly recommend their favorite followers and others are more specific to a subject area or industry. Twitter Lists have followed largely the latter, and often include specific tweeps that tweet about specific subjects. And though the majority of people are continuing to make recommendations using the traditional route of including the usernames of tweeps people should follow, some people are beginning to create #followfriday Twitter Lists or are linking to one of their lists in their #followfriday tweet.
#FollowFriday Still Going Strong
The number of tweets each Friday that contain the hashtags #ff or #followfriday have actually increased in the last month following the rollout of Twitter Lists in October, according to Trendistic. The percentage of tweets containing #ff have gone up slightly from 2.09 percent on October 30 to 2.45 percent on November 20. The results for tweets containing #followfriday have fluctuated a bit, but have mostly remained consistent.
This graph doesn’t show any changes in #FollowFriday behavior — any of these tweets could point users to lists or use the traditional method of recommendation — but they do show that just as many Twitter () users are participating in #FollowFriday as ever. There was some concern, when the list feature was first announced that users would simply create lists and start recommending other tweeps on #FollowFriday altogether. That has clearly not happened.
#FollowFriday With Lists
Some people are starting to change the way they participate in #FollowFriday, however, by recommending one of their Twitter lists for people to follow instead of specific users. Others are creating special #FollowFriday lists and updating them each week.
It’s hard to tell how many people exactly are participating in this trend, but for Friday, November 20, we found more than 400 examples of tweets that contained the hashtag #followfriday or #ff that included the word “list” and a link pointing to a Twitter list. Though it’s a small amount of people that are starting to use #followfriday this way, it may be a precursor to a change in how people participate in #FollowFriday, changing the way people recommend their tweeps.
How Lists Could Change #FollowFriday
Because Twitter Lists are relatively new to Twitter users still, the trend of people using lists for recommendations instead of actually including usernames has the potential to catch on. This would change the feel of #FollowFriday significantly and perhaps some of its effectiveness.
Creating a Twitter list designated for #FollowFriday allows users to recommend more people and brings down the noise of people who use multiple tweets to recommend followers. It also makes the recommendations more specific because users could update the description of the list each Friday. This method also has more shelf life than just recommending specific users each Friday. After all, the usernames attached to the #FollowFriday Twitter list would remain there for a whole week for people who stumble across your profile or your tweet linking to it. This has the potential to give those you recommend more exposure.
However, it may not necessarily translate into followers for those you are recommending. If you create a Twitter list for #FollowFriday, people will likely just follow the list and not necessarily the people on it. Also, including a link to a list for #FollowFriday instead of @usernames of each tweep you recommend creates an extra step for your followers to see the people you are recommending. You can’t just click on the username and assess your interest in following that person, now you’d have to click on the link and run through the list of people.
Whatever the outcome of this potential trend, people should remember that #FollowFriday is about the people that you recommend that bring you value and think are worthy of being followed by those following you, regardless of how you do the recommending.
How Twitter Lists Are Changing #FollowFriday28 11 2009