I'm developing an app with "following" functionality similar to Twitter, where you can follow someone to see their updates, but it doesn't have to be a mutual "friend" situation like Facebook.

My wording issue is I need to be able to say something like what, on Facebook, would be "5 friends liked this," but saying "5 People You Are Following Liked This" is too long.

Is there a single word, or shorter phrase, that could replace "People You Are Following?"

  • 3
    I can't figure out whether twits should be applied to the people who tweet or the people who are tweeted to?
    – bib
    Jul 30, 2014 at 22:48
  • it's really strange to say "5 of your upstreams liked this" as opposed to "5 of your downstreams". Are you sure there is not something mixed up herein?
    – Fattie
    Jul 31, 2014 at 9:32
  • @bib which ever twits applies to, the remaining case must be the twats. :) Feb 3, 2019 at 12:20
  • @ShelbyMooreIII the term is sexually offensive. I would urge you to delete the comment.
    – bib
    Feb 3, 2019 at 15:16
  • @bib lol nice one! The definition of twat is essentially the same as twit. I think you’re referring to some slang meaning. Sorry it’s impossible to never offend anyone. How about we all tie our shoelaces together? This is how the West implodes over the coming decade. Mark my word. Feb 4, 2019 at 3:08

4 Answers 4


Followees? (although it sounds kind of legal and douchie)

  • It sounds kind of gross, but this seems like the most intuitive option. (I actually managed to find a workaround so I don't need to use this, but thanks!) Aug 1, 2014 at 3:09

You might consider the word lead (that's the noun pronounced /li:d/ not /led/). Not only does it imply a following relationship, but it's also used in Business English as "something to be followed up" — cf. sales lead.

5 of your leads like this

Although the concept of following is well-known, Twitter — perhaps the most familiar platform — doesn't have a word for those people who are being followed. It uses the word following:

Twitter use of Following/Followers from StackStatus account

You will need to explain the word lead, but setting it against follower may be sufficient.

Mockup using the word "leads"


This isn’t that great either, but it’s another idea:

  • tagged cohorts
  • tagged curators
  • designated cohorts
  • designated curators

Or just:

  • cohorts

Another idea:

  • feeders

Those who supply content to your feed.


I have another idea more specific conceptually to ‘follow’ than my prior answer. I prefer this to the ‘followees’ suggestion:

the followed

Here is an example where suffixing ‘-ed’ to a verb creates a noun:


The doomed are people marked by very bad luck, particularly death.

people who are destined to die soon “the agony of the doomed was in his voice”

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