BuddyPress Followers Plugin: A Different Way For Users to Make Friends
The new BuddyPress Followers plugin is now available. It has the potential to significantly change the climate of your BuddyPress site. If you’re active on buddypress.org then you know what the Followers Plugin looks like in action. Here’s the skinny on Followers, in case you’re not clear about the difference between followers and friends. The main difference is that connections between followers don’t have to be approved by the other party. This is similar to the way Twitter functions.
Add the ability for users to follow others and keep track of their site activity. This plugin works exactly the same way that the friends component of BuddyPress works, however the connection does not need to be accepted by the person being followed.
What does the BuddyPress Followers plugin do?
- Adds a new activity stream tab
- Adds Follow/Unfollow buttons to the user profiles
- Adds menus to display the user’s following/followed and total counts
There’s nothing to configure. Just install and activate and the Followers functionality will be added. Then you’ll probably want to navigate to Dashboard >> Buddypress >> Component Setup and disable Friends. If you decide to remove the Followers Plugin and go back to enabling friends then don’t worry; all of your user’s friends have been saved in the database and connections will reappear.
Why Use the Followers Plugin instead of Friends?
Using Followers instead of Friends is ideal for more activities-centered communities where a user is not necessarily creating a defined group of friends. The plugin can help to place more focus on participating in conversations and sharing information than defining relationships. With a little tweaking you can also customize the plugin to use different words for “Followers” depending on the needs of your community. Check out the BuddyPress Followers plugin and please feel free to share in the comments how it is changing your user’s interaction.