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Choice to publicly display Followers / Following

Finding friends and mutuals is hard.  

Users should be able to show who they follow / who follows them if they wish.  Make it a couple of profile options.

Right now finding your friends who were on other... bird-like social media platforms... is hard.

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Fully agree. I think its good the cohost doesnt do this by default, but it makes no sense to leave it out when it lets people get around so much easier.

In the hypothetical scenario where someone wants to follow, say, a weird nsfw account, but doesnt want that to be on their list, cohost already makes it so easy to make a side account, with its own follow list. The side account functionality is in fact, the strongest privacy tool you could give most people.

While the intent behind wanting to keep follow lists obscured is good, and im sure it saved time trying to figure out how it should be implemented, its become a redundant privacy feature that creates a sharper learning curve to cohost.

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I disagree with this. Yes, it would be useful to find people you followed on other places/who your friends are following/etc., but the potential drawbacks are larger in my opinion.

For starters, popularity contests are bad and as much as we want to think ourselves above them, having those sorts of metrics will make users more likely to fixate on them.

Also, there's the potential for harassment splashback of the "why are you following X problematic person" or "if you follow Y, you are problematic" variety. Not to mention an even more targeted kind of harassment, trying to alienate the victim from their followers or going after the victim's followers.

Yes, if they make this optional a target of harassment could hide their followers/following, but it often happens that the victim of harassment doesn't realize what's going on until it's too late.

I think there are other ways we can lower the learning curve for new users, we can try different things

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finding your friends via "who your friends follow" works out ok when your friends follow maybe 12 people, but when you end up seeing a hundred or so accounts, it can get a little hard. i know a lot of people are bringing back "follow friday" posts, but i do wonder if there was a little more that cohost could do 

my modest proposal? a webring. 

users can start a group, ask people to join,  and then on your profile page, you show the webrings you're a member of, with little back/next buttons or even a random button

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I personally like the idea of webrings a lot more than showing followers/followed. I know that sifting through the hundreds of accounts friends followed to find my other friends was kind of a pain when I used Twitter.

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I really appreciate being able to see what mutuals follow someone. It gives me a quick way to vet their safety to follow without having to dive into their post history. I don't care about seeing follow numbers or seeing all of their followers / who they follow, just mutual connections

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I think you naturally see new people as people you follow share posts into your feed. Goodness knows I've so many tabs open of posts I want to read / look into more.
I'm super into not seeing all data for some of the key features of Cohost. The follow friday / links to people will I think grow things naturally - particularly with tag surfing as the best way to break out of the bubbles you've initally started with

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Hard agree. A lot of us are hoping to use this to gauge the reach of our creative work, which is our livelihood, and it is incredibly difficult to do that without knowing how many people are following us and who is following us.  In spite of the good intentions behind hiding it, it's a very basic and necessary function of social media.

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I disagree that it's necessary for social media. It may be if you only use social media as part of your marketing, but that's not the only use for social media and not all social media has to do everything for everyone.

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That's why it should be an option to show or hide. If you'd prefer not to see it, then you don't have to, but for those of us that do, we can.

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The original introduction post to Cohost says this:

> information about engagement will be available for people doing this for a living, but it won’t be in your face all the time constantly

Try emailing staff if you need it?

> knowing how many people are following us and who is following us. 

Here's the thing, you can already see who is following you, and gauge the number of people who do, but you can't see how big of an audience they have. 

The topic isn't "know my own audience", its "everyone's audience and subscriptions are public knowledge and counted on a profile"

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Sure! Strayed a little but that would be nice to be able to toggle on/off if you wanted.

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Fully agree! Having this as an option in a settings menu is useful. One of my main ways to find new artists to follow is to go into my favourite artists profiles and look at who they're following since they tend to have similar styles and/or like similar things. Not having this as an option or being able to provide that option to others makes it a lot harder to find profiles I like 

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I have a couple opinions here.

Firstly, I wholeheartedly agree with mossflwer's post regarding mutual connections.

Secondly, as I interpret the home page, a visible follower count would break "metrics are ruining our lives." As much as I've missed it, it being hidden is consistent with that ethos, and I personally would say that it should only be visible to yourself. 

Thirdly, by contrast, following lists should be visible. Probably optionally so (on by default please,) perhaps only visible to mutuals, but as of right now, it's not just tough to find your friends on the website; it's impossible. It feels worryingly like a walled garden in that sense. There's not a specific metric tied to that, as I see it, so I don't see immediately see why it'd be an issue, though I could be dead wrong haha

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