Follow Friday is not a game where you creep someone out by following them to the train station every Friday, it is something that was made as an offhand suggestion for Twitter users and has caught fire over the last 18 months. It is the perfect way for newcomers to Twitter to discover which people they should follow rather than wasting hours traipsing through all sorts of bizarre profiles in an effort to meet someone interesting. Twitter has millions of users, it shouldn’t be so hard to find someone captivating to converse with. After all, this isn’t your small hometown on a Monday night.
Like many earth-shattering events in the future, Follow Friday all started with a tweet. Micah Baldwin came up with the idea that everyone should suggest a person to follow as well as everyone following them. Basically, you were to introduce someone interesting who you follow to your friends. The #FollowFriday hash tag was suggested by a friend of Baldwin’s and some of his friends spread the word. It seemingly spread almost as fast as a Hollywood scandal (ok, not possible) and there were two #FollowFriday tweets per second on its first day.
Like a lothario who wants to flee the scene of his indiscretion leaving the poor woman distraught, by the next morning traces of FollowFriday were as hard to find as Howard Hughes. This seemed to indicate that it was just a off one occasion yet on the following Thursday night, tweets started to appear from nowhere once more. It became clear that after a few weeks, FollowFriday was an international phenomenon. This is borne out by the fact that tweets relating to it were sent late on Thursday nights and Saturday mornings indicating a variety of time zones being involved (as usual Australia is last to catch on to anything).
It might seem amazing that FollowFriday became so popular but its success is based upon a few simple premises. The main one is that people are inherently lazy. We don’t like expending a lot of effort but tweeting only takes a few seconds and we cast aside our laziness for that length of time to look trendy and cool. Secondly, it is available to anyone. While certain initiatives and groups seem to be exclusive, FollowFriday is open to everyone and you can suggest one person or one hundred. Finally, it can lead to your following increasing dramatically. Someone you suggest may be so delighted that they suggest you to others. And there is nothing we like doing more than helping others….. When there is something in it for ourselves!