Frostgage

Friend vs. Follower

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As many of you may remember, back before the forum changed you could add users as friends. This function has been replaced by the follower system, which serves the same purpose of notifying you of another user's status updates, but I much prefer the friend system for several reasons.

To begin with, friend is just a much more personal word than follower – friendship is right there in the title after all. Cosmetic concerns aside, I believe that users are much more likely to add someone as a friend than they are to become their follower. Back in the days of the friend system, the forum felt much more connected, I think in large part due to many different users interacting on status updates. I also liked that adding a user as a friend automatically put you on their friends list as well, unlike following someone which only goes in one direction. This was fantastic as a default setting for helping to boost friendship on the forum – there was also an option to have to approve requests first if you prefer.

Essentially I believe that it should be easy to make lots of friends here, to which the follower system is simply not conducive. I remember making 20, 30 friends with little trouble in my first few weeks and feeling great about it – it wasn't a huge effort, it just happened naturally. Now I see many new users with few followers, which was almost never the case with the friend system, and I feel as if the current system is less inclusive and thus makes them less likely to stay. But maybe I'm just nostalgically rambling – what do y'all think?

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(edited)

I would LOVE to see the friend system make a comeback. 

Edited by Lucky Bolt

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I would not complain about a rename of that feature.

51 minutes ago, Frostgage said:

unlike following someone which only goes in one direction.

But isn't that also detrimental for some ppl? For instance, I am following a few ponies to get notifications when they post something. Now, if ppl would befriend me, I would get A LOT more notifications than I do now - And right now they are at the limit already, personally speaking for me.

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3 minutes ago, Bas said:

But isn't that also detrimental for some ppl? For instance, I am following a few ponies to get notifications when they post something. Now, if ppl would befriend me, I would get A LOT more notifications than I do now - And right now they are at the limit already, personally speaking for me.

Good point, but that wouldn't be a problem - there was an optional setting to approve friend requests manually rather than automatically, so no one could add you if you didn't want them to.

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(edited)

I love the friend system more. ^^

Edited by TheRockARooster

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18 minutes ago, Frostgage said:

Good point, but that wouldn't be a problem - there was an optional setting to approve friend requests manually rather than automatically, so no one could add you if you didn't want them to.

This would also mean that an user couldn't follow every other user to get notifications.

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4 minutes ago, Bas said:

This would also mean that an user couldn't follow every other user to get notifications.

Oh don't worry the setting only applied to incoming friend requests. So you could still automatically add anyone else that you wanted (unless they also had the approval setting on of course)

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I wasn't around here when the website featured a friend system, but it sounds like a system which has a lot more meaning to it. In that regard, I wouldn't mind seeing it make a return, as it makes a lot more sense, given the show this forum is a medium for.

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14 hours ago, Frostgage said:

Oh don't worry the setting only applied to incoming friend requests. So you could still automatically add anyone else that you wanted (unless they also had the approval setting on of course) 

Yeah, exactly. What if I want to follow befriend another user to see what he/she/them posts, but the other user doesn't want to accept my request? Then I will have no option for getting notifactions about them.

So, if it comes down to users like me, either;

- Rename the current system

- Add a friend request optionally. I am not sure if both can co-exist.

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The old friend system was lost in the IPS4.0 upgrade. The company that writes our forum software believed that the 'Friend' system was obsolete and the 'Subscription' model was the way to go, so they completely scrapped Friends and replaced it with Followers. At the time there wasn't a plug-in for IPS to recreate the old system, but that *may* have changed by now. But given how popular Friends actually was, it will likely be an expensive plug-in if it exists.

I would love for it to make a comeback, but it's not gonna be an easy or cheap fix. :(

 

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I wonder if we could just rename followers to friends, but this would prob sparkle some confusion among users.

FWIW, here are two statements of a staff member of the devs:

https://invisioncommunity.com/forums/topic/409099-followers-are-superior-to-friends/?do=findComment&comment=2534888

https://invisioncommunity.com/forums/topic/409099-followers-are-superior-to-friends/page/2/?tab=comments#comment-2535583

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2 hours ago, Fhaolan said:

The old friend system was lost in the IPS4.0 upgrade. The company that writes our forum software believed that the 'Friend' system was obsolete and the 'Subscription' model was the way to go, so they completely scrapped Friends and replaced it with Followers. At the time there wasn't a plug-in for IPS to recreate the old system, but that *may* have changed by now. But given how popular Friends actually was, it will likely be an expensive plug-in if it exists.

I would love for it to make a comeback, but it's not gonna be an easy or cheap fix. :(

 

Thank you so much for the reply!! I'm glad I'm not the only one who liked it lol

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2 hours ago, Fhaolan said:

The old friend system was lost in the IPS4.0 upgrade. The company that writes our forum software believed that the 'Friend' system was obsolete and the 'Subscription' model was the way to go, so they completely scrapped Friends and replaced it with Followers. At the time there wasn't a plug-in for IPS to recreate the old system, but that *may* have changed by now. But given how popular Friends actually was, it will likely be an expensive plug-in if it exists.

I would love for it to make a comeback, but it's not gonna be an easy or cheap fix. :(

 

Why not having both? 

*image of the little girl with caption*

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1 hour ago, Usager said:

*image of the little girl with caption*

34pwr2.jpg

 

 

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4 hours ago, Fhaolan said:

The old friend system was lost in the IPS4.0 upgrade. The company that writes our forum software believed that the 'Friend' system was obsolete and the 'Subscription' model was the way to go, so they completely scrapped Friends and replaced it with Followers. At the time there wasn't a plug-in for IPS to recreate the old system, but that *may* have changed by now. But given how popular Friends actually was, it will likely be an expensive plug-in if it exists.

I would love for it to make a comeback, but it's not gonna be an easy or cheap fix. :(

 

Adding to this, hopefully @Jeric won’t mind my quoting him. 042C0B3E-7018-4FF0-83B7-435DFC24D022.jpeg

90D43794-7732-4710-A5E1-9C7E0CC52184.jpeg

With each incremental update to IPS, plugins seem to break. While changing the word (not functionality) followers to friends is probably viable, I’m not a programmer, and as mentioned above a true friend system is more viable here than it is on other users of IPS, even if a plugin were added it’s possible it could possibly break with the next update.

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The closest simple thing I can suggest is prob simply adding people on your discord friendlist from the PV server instead. :)

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I can easily change the name from follow to friend, what can't be done is re-introduce the old system since the new system is part of IPB 4's core system. Like it or not, IPS is seemingly set on making this platform a hybrid social media styled community. I looked into introducing some automation that may replicate the concept by having you following a user send a slightly different notification that would link you to the other person's profile to follow them. Is doable, but there are other things that are far ahead of it. Also, every time I change something like this I get people coming out of the woodwork upset at the change. If this is something that you all want to eventually have SOME solution, I really need more than a handful of voices. If this is something you all want, feel free to direct people to this topic for their feedback.

For now, I'm knee deep in RP based things so any change, even to the language, will need to wait until I finish my current projects

On 7/1/2019 at 2:27 PM, Usager said:

Why not having both? 

 

The thought of creating two unique systems like that in a way that will play nice with each other, without a full time dev team like Facebook had, makes me want to crawl into my bed and cry.

 

._.

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(edited)

I recognized two potential issues with changing the name:

- It creates confusion about what it does, or that people do not expect to be a following tool.

- There are some people here when they are unfollowing someone, or when getting unfollowed. I expect changing the name might intensify feelings about getting friended, for the good as well as for the bad.

It could be implemented that friend adds are showing in notifications, status etc. but leaves are not.

Edited by Bas

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I definitely liked the friend system better than the follower one it is now, but I can also see the merit in a follow system that doesn't require it to go either both ways or neither. I can't deny that calling them "followers" gets under my skin though. Friends sounds much more personal, like someone you'd actually want to talk to. Followers can kinda sound like people who want to get notifications when you do things but don't actually care all that much.

Renaming "followers" as "friends" is nice aesthetically, but it'd be a bit confusing when it still functions like followers.

I dunno, that's just my two bits' worth.

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I mean, this isn’t a solution anyone is asking for, but I CAN add a profile field that will allow you to add the member name link and I could call THAT ‘friends’

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Actually I just did this. Not feature rich but you can search users and add them in a single column display. 

 

 

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---And it's even really convenient! :mlp_yeehaa:

Not having any friends? :( Yeah that sux, but don't worry! We got you covered! :proud:

You can list yourself as a friend! You don't have to be alone anymore! :yay:

Friendship is Magic! :love:

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This friend list is fine, I guess. But it's not really anything special. Sure, you can add people who you think you are friends with but this can also just cause bad things in the future because what if someone forgot about someone and they got mad that they weren't added to the list which in their head might think they were friends anymore.

All in the all though, the feature is meh in my eyes.

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8 hours ago, TheTaZe said:

This friend list is fine, I guess. But it's not really anything special. Sure, you can add people who you think you are friends with but this can also just cause bad things in the future because what if someone forgot about someone and they got mad that they weren't added to the list which in their head might think they were friends anymore.

All in the all though, the feature is meh in my eyes.

I agree completely. It's the same as with those best friend lists I've seen posted here sometimes – I would find it extremely hard to list less than twenty people, and even then, I'd probably end up omitting several people who I feel should be there. :adorkable:

I don't really have anything against the feature, but it's not one I'll be using.

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I started to add friends to my list, but after just one I saw a potential problem of favoritism, and decided not to have a friends list.

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