Follow for follow, shortened as F4F, refers to the practice of agreeing with another user to follow each other and improve stats. It’s a usual method employed by newer streamers to reach the minimum 50 followers needed to apply for the Twitch Affiliate Program.
F4F sounds like a perfect and almost flawless method to gain more exposure, but does it work?
Truthfully, the Twitch follow-for-follow scheme does not help your stream. Instead, this practice affects your presence on the purple platform and may shorten your live-streaming career.
Continue reading to learn why F4F is not a commendable practice on Twitch and why you should avoid it at all costs.
Why Follow for Follow Doesn’t Help Your Stream In The Long Run
Follow-for-follow may work on other platforms but not on Twitch. These are the reasons why.
Many Followers, Low Viewer Count
Follow-for-follow can increase your follower count significantly. However, any follower gained under this practice is not likely to return. You may have 1,000 followers, but there’s no point if only a handful of that amount watches your stream.
So, follow-for-follow will effectively decrease the value of your Twitch channel and your brand.
Moreover, you will lose potential new audiences. Bigger streamers usually show their support by hosting newcomers, offering a unique opportunity to get more eyes on your content. This chance will not present to you if your stream and stats are not legit.
You Risk Future Sponsorship Deals
If you cheat to get to the top, the truth will eventually come out. Online communities are perceptive and will notice anomalies in your channel in one way or another.
And you will lose genuine viewers, and you will also lose sponsorships and partnerships with other brands. This loss would be a massive setback and could end your live-streaming career.
Sponsors consider concurrent viewers over followers to determine brand value. Thus, the follower count in your channel is relatively meaningless if you plan to use it as leverage to make money. If you care about building a marketable brand, follow-for-follow antics are not worth risking it.
Peer Streamers Will Look Down on You
Some of the most popular streamers worked hard to make it to where they are. These streamers must be an inspiration for new content creators, which would benefit greatly from possible collaborations in the future.
Nonetheless, collaborating with established Twitch streamers will not be possible if you engage in F4F, view botting, or similar practices.
Most streamers see this practice as deceitful, and they will cast you out for it. Even if a single established streamer considers you’re not worth it, rest assured that many others will do the same. The fandoms will also turn on you and may affect your growth in Twitch and other socials.
Follow-For-Follow ‘Allies’ May Cheat on You
Imagine you get away with it and score massive followers after a quick F4F. These numbers may not be definitive, as many might unfollow you after you follow them back.
This is a recurring theme amongst people and groups that promote follow-for-follow schemes. Once they get what they want from you, they don’t care about reciprocating.
Is it worth it to risk your Twitch account and reputation like this? No, it is not. It will be wasting time for nothing.
Here’s One Definitive Reason Why You Shouldn’t F4F
If you still want to use follow-for-follow as a medium to grow your numbers, you should know that this practice violates Twitch rules. Therefore, you could receive a ban and tarnish your streaming career before it even takes off.
The same principle applies if you use view bots or other deceiving third-party follow botting programs. Twitch does not take these “fake engagement” actions kindly, effectively banishing streamers with otherwise potentially promising careers.
So, focus on building a genuine viewer base instead of looking for shortcuts. This way, succeeding will feel more rewarding, and your audience will appreciate it.
The One Time You Should Ask for Followers…
The only time you should consider requesting follower support is when you need 50 followers to reach Affiliate status. Even then, don’t participate in F4F activities to accomplish this milestone. Instead, use socials like Twitter to let people know you’re close and could use a little push.
This measure can attract people to your stream because it shows that you’re genuine. Plus, other streamers could notice your struggle and use their outreach to help you out.
Of course, you must consider this measure if you have already reached the other milestone to reach the Twitch Affiliate level.
Alternatives to Gain Followers Without F4F
F4F is off-limits, but you can try other methods to gain more followers and viewers for your Twitch channel. These are a few tips you could try if you’re serious about going full-time as a streamer.
Become an Active Presence on Other Platforms
Create accounts on multiple socials to increase your exposure. Using a YouTube channel allows you to upload VODs and reach a bigger audience. Other apps like Twitter and TikTok are ideal for uploading content in line with current trends.
Be a Consistent Streamer
Create a streaming schedule to keep your concurrent viewers informed about future broadcasts. If someone discovers you on other platforms, they will know when to tune in to catch up with you. Consistency is key to success, even if it seems like too much effort sometimes.
Engage with Your Audience on Discord
Discord is the perfect app to build a community. Create a channel, and interact with your guests actively. Your target audience will notice how much you care about them, and they will be more likely to support you in multiple ways.
Be Active on Other Streamer’s Chats
Follow your favorite streamers and visit those playing games in the same category as you. Engage actively with the chat for more visibility.
Also, make sure to check out other smaller streamers with similar viewership. Use it as a learning experience for feedback and to be more engaging with your audience.
Keep Up With the Trends
Recently released games are usually an excellent opportunity to bring more eyes to your channel. Follow other streamers and keep up with news from the gaming world to stay updated with current interests.
It isn’t uncommon for famous streamers to play new games to get people’s attention. They don’t let the chance slide even if sometimes they don’t like the game.
It is relatively easy to tell when a streamer is not genuine. Exaggerated gestures, overkill reactions, or lack of interest usually push viewers away.
Thus, do your best to be as genuine as possible. Take this opportunity to let yourself loose and be the person you want to be. Play games you like, or just talk about things you love. Viewers will notice your effort, and more followers will come.
New streamers on Twitch count with multiple options to earn followers. Follow-for-follow sounds like a tempting and easy way to succeed, but that’s far from the truth. What seems like an innocent scheme to increase numbers can turn sideways quickly.
Viewership loss, a damaged reputation, and ruined careers usually are the result of these deceiving antics.
Avoid F4F and similar practices if you want to take your streaming career seriously. Focus on other measures like putting your name out on other platforms, which are far better options for getting real followers.
And these followers will support you no matter what, and it will feel more rewarding than having a fake follower count.
Be consistent with your work, engage with your concurrent viewership, and actively promote your brand on social.
Don’t rely solely on the quality of your content, as Twitch’s competition can be fierce. If you’re consistent and work hard, any new followers gained will prove that you’re on the right path.