Q&A: What does the #FF hashtag stand for on Twitter?

There's an easy way to make recommendations on Twitter using #FF

#FF on Twitter
The '#FF' hashtag is commonly used to make recommendations on Twitter. Getty Images/Kerry Hyndman

What is #FF on Twitter?

Have you seen the #FF hashtag on your Twitter friends' tweets and wondered what it meant? The #FF hashtag stands for "Follow Friday" and is a signal of your support and recommendation of fellow Twitter users to your friends!

The creator of the #FF hashtag is said to be entrepreneur Micah Baldwin. In case you didn't know — anyone can create a hashtag — it's the ADOPTION of a hashtag by others that makes it stick.

Baldwin created the hashtag back in 2009 when he was helping a couple of friends in a contest to see which of them could achieve 1,000 followers. Baldwin, having already racked up a few thousand followers at the time, began recommending his friends to others, recognizing that he could generate followers for others by using the relationships that he had already built on Twitter. "You should be able to recommend friends," he thought, "and then people should go, ‘Oh, that’s a friend of Micah, of course I’ll follow them.'" Another friend suggested that a hashtag be established to make recommendations easier, and soon Baldwin found himself to be somewhat of an internet celebrity. The hashtag was used nearly half a million times on the first Friday after it was introduced, and continued to gained in popularity from there. 

Using #FF

Using the #FF hashtag is a great way to both find interesting people to follow in Twitter as well as to make recommendations to others.

Here's how to use it:

​To find people to follow on Twitter using #FF:

1. Go to Twitter online or open the app on your mobile device

2. Enter #FF into the search box at the top and click "search" or hit the magnifying glass to start your search

3. The tweets that show up as a result have all been tagged with "#FF." View the recommendations and click on the handle (the name that begins with the "@" symbol) to view a recommended page

To write a post using #FF:

To use #FF in your own post:

1. Gather the handles of the people that you'd like to recommend

2. Click on the feather icon to open the status update box, and list the handles that you've gathered

3. Type "#FF" after the list of recommendations

While the practice of making recommendations using "#FF" is typically done on Fridays, the hashtag has become part of the Twitter culture and is commonly used to make recommendations on other days of the week as well.

#FF is just one of many popular hashtags that are used to organize conversations on Twitter. Other hashtags frequently seen include #TBT which stands for "Throwback Thursday" and is usually associated with images of or references to the past; and #ICANT which is a popular way to indicate that a topic is so funny, cute or ridiculous that there is no appropriate comment for it.

 Updated by Christina Michelle Bailey 5/30/16