Though the concept of a “follower” may never go away, the importance of them may at least be starting to dwindle.

Tumblr recently spoke about its focus around engagement, rather than follower count. So much of social media has been directed around stats and getting the cherished follower count up, instead of creating content. It's a big popularity contest for many users. Twitter has sparked the birth of companies that are built entirely around purchasing "followers." Sites have packages that allow you to buy followers from $10 for 1,000 or $499 for 100,000. The catch: none of them are real. Essentially, you could be tweeting to yourself, even though your follower count says 100,000. Recently, half of Justin Bieber's 37 million Twitter followers were found to be fake. That's about 18 million.

Facebook has even found the follower system hard to implement. The New York Times noted that followers, or in Facebook terms, subscribers, meant little when it came to sharing or engaging.

#FollowBackFriday? What's the point? Create something and let that be the reason someone subscribes to you--or the reason you subscribe to them. 

[via BuzzFeed]