What comes after follow & followers?

It’s no secret that the follow/follower model in Twitter was a meaningful breakthrough in social experiences.

It’s elegant, simple and works.

And as a result we see this model in some of the most popular products around today. Each adding their own flavor of the follower model.

It’s only Tuesday but I’ve already met with four startups this week that are about to launch new social products that also use the follow/follower model.

And that is perfectly fine. Yet just because its beautiful in Twitter doesn’t mean it can work everywhere

It also makes me wonder what comes next. Will every network and community be built on top of this framework? Or will we see alternatives tuned for content discovery and consumption.

On this topic, Medium is interesting. Amazing content and user profiles (here’s mine) but they don’t have a follow/follower model at this time. Particularly fascinating since Medium’s CEO/founder, Ev Williams, is a Twitter cofounder.

It seems to me the biggest challenge with follow/follower models is the idea of yet another network to join and how to discover new content outside of your feed. Tumblr does an excellent job with tracked hashtags and reblogs. Medium does it with collections.

I’m quite interested in how this evolves and where this might take us.