friending (AKA add friend or the verb to friend) is a general term applied to the various silo user interactions with sites regarding reciprocal friendship. E.g.:
- request a reciprocal friendship (e.g. "+1 Add Friend" on Facebook)
- compare one-directional follow, e.g. on Twitter, which is not reciprocal
Jacky Alciné (7 Mar 2019): Twitter doesn't have a concept of friends, everyone is subscribed to one another's feeds; that's all.
When a friend request is sent on Facebook, the recipient will have to accept it to create a two-way connection. Connections can optionally have family relationship data attached to them.
Facebook will automatically have two people who became friends follow each other. This is a separate thing and does not have to be reciprocal/mutual. Either person can go and manually unfollow the other again without losing their friendship status. Even if both unfollow the other this has no repercussions.
On the posting side the per-post audience can be tweaked based on friendship status. In addition, friends can be sorted into lists to make this filtering even easier. Facebook will attempt to fill some lists automatically, like those based on family status, location and employer:
Facebook also by default allows two friends to write on each others's walls.
While related, simply listing or publishing a list of friends/contacts is not really "friending", as there isn't any kind of active UI / action that the user takes. It's more just another form of publishing. Examples / technology for friends lists:
- follow / unfollow
- 2018-12-27 Facebook needs a ‘reset’ button for your friend list
(perhaps a criticism of current "friending" UIs in general, in the longterm, using current such UIs adds burden to the user)
…my Facebook friend list has become more of a “people I once knew” list …
- 2006-12-04 danah boyd: Friends, Friendsters, and Top 8: Writing community into being on social network sites
- "@matt all of your friends are just one URL away 😎" @zachleat July 11, 2023