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Following vs. Followers: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 5, 2023
"Following" refers to the people one subscribes to or tracks, while "followers" are individuals who subscribe to or track someone else.

Key Differences

In the realm of social media, "following" often represents the number of users or entities one actively chooses to receive updates from. For instance, on platforms like Twitter or Instagram, if you are "following" someone, it means you've elected to view their content on your feed. On the flip side, "followers" denote the individuals who've made the decision to view your content, signaling their interest in what you post or share.
Furthermore, the act of "following" is more of a verb in many contexts, reflecting an action taken. For example, you might decide to start "following" a new artist or a brand because you admire their work or products. Conversely, "followers" functions predominantly as a noun, describing a group of individuals who have taken a similar action towards another entity.
In a broader context outside of social media, "following" can represent a sequence or a consequence of something. It might mean the next in line or as a result of a previous event. However, "followers" keeps its consistent meaning, representing those who support or believe in a particular person, cause, or ideology.
It's worth noting that while "following" can have varied meanings depending on context, "followers" remains fairly stable in its definition, primarily denoting people who are supporters or enthusiasts. Yet, in the digital age, both terms are predominantly associated with social media dynamics.

Comparison Chart

Part of Speech

Often used as a verb (but can be a noun)
Primarily a noun

Reference Point

Entities one chooses to track or subscribe to
Individuals who track or subscribe to someone

Direction of Interest

Outward (from you to others)
Inward (from others to you)

Context outside Social Media

Can mean subsequent or as a result
Consistently means supporters or enthusiasts

Associated Action

The act of subscribing to someone's content
The result of others subscribing to one's content

Following and Followers Definitions


A group of supporters or enthusiasts.
The band has a large following in Europe.


Supporters or enthusiasts of a particular person or group.
The religious leader had many devoted followers.


Subsequent in order or sequence.
The following day, they met for coffee.


Users who have chosen to receive updates from a profile.
My followers always engage with my content positively.


As a result or consequence of something.
Following the announcement, the stock prices soared.


Individuals who subscribe to someone's content on social media.
She has over a million followers on Instagram.


Being directly affected or proceeded by.
Following his speech, there was a standing ovation.


People who are led by someone else.
As a teacher, it's important to guide your followers wisely.


The act of tracking or subscribing to someone on social media.
I started following the new artist after hearing her song.


Those who adhere to a particular ideology or belief system.
The followers of the movement advocate for peace.


Coming next in time or order
In the following chapter.


One who accepts the guidance, command, or leadership of another
A follower of Gandhi.


Now to be enumerated
The following people will report for duty.


One who has a strong interest or pays close attention to something
A follower of new developments in technology.


Blowing in the same direction as the course of a ship or aircraft. Used of wind.


A machine element moved by another machine element.


Plural of follower


A group of followers or enthusiasts


Can "following" also be a noun?

Yes, it can mean a group of supporters or enthusiasts.

Does "following" always refer to social media?

No, "following" can also mean subsequent or as a result of something.

Can "followers" be used outside of a social media context?

Yes, it can refer to supporters or enthusiasts of a person, cause, or ideology.

If I'm "following" someone, does that make me their "follower"?

Yes, if you're following someone, you are one of their followers.

Does "following" someone mean you endorse them?

Not necessarily. People might follow others out of curiosity or for various reasons.

Are "followers" always people?

Typically, yes. They are individuals who subscribe or support someone or something.

Is there a limit to how many people you can be "following"?

It depends on the platform, but some social media sites have limits.

Can I hide my "following" or "followers" list?

Some platforms allow for privacy settings that can hide these lists.

Are "followers" always genuine?

No, some might be bots or inactive accounts.

Why do some people have more "followers" than they are "following"?

They might be more selective about who they follow, or they might have a larger audience.

Can a company or brand have "followers"?

Absolutely. Many brands have substantial followers on social media.

Is a larger "following" always better?

Not necessarily. Engagement and the quality of followers can be more important.

How can I increase my "followers" on social media?

Posting engaging content, being consistent, and interacting with your audience can help.

Does having a large "following" mean you're influential?

Not always. Influence is determined by impact, not just numbers.

Can I be "following" someone without being their "follower"?

On most platforms, if you're following someone, you are also counted as their follower.

How do platforms decide whom to suggest for "following"?

Through algorithms based on your interactions, interests, and other factors.

How can I see who I'm "following"?

On most platforms, there's a section on your profile showing your following list.

Can "followers" interact with the one they follow?

Yes, usually through comments, likes, and direct messages.

Can you follow and unfollow repeatedly?

Technically yes, but it might be seen as spammy behavior.

What's a "follower-to-following" ratio?

It's the number of followers divided by the number of accounts you're following.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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