SOCIAL media trends and tactics to boost that all-important follower count can seem to change almost minute-to-minute.
If you've ever seen the same hashtags crop up on Snapchat and Instagram posts time and time again and wondered, "What does that mean?", here's one of them explained to you.
What does SFS mean on Snapchat and Instagram?
The term 'SFS' can stand for different things depending on the social media platform or personal preference.
It either stands for "snap for snap", "shoutout for shoutout", or "spam for spam".
But don't get confused – they all mean the same thing. As the name suggests, it's an exchange between two users.
One user will tag another in their post to direct their followers to the other's page, with the aim of boosting their respective follower counts.
Put simply, influencers do this as a way of mutual promotion.
The other user then hopefully returns the favour by doing the same.
But it doesn't have to be by chance, users will arrange in advance to show off each other's content too – that's where the hashtag comes in.
How is the hashtag used?
Searching #SFS on social media platforms helps users track down others looking to grow their follower count and promote themselves too.
The hashtag can also be used as a way of gaining quick likes on a post.
Searching #SFS brings up hundreds of posts, which users can double-tap – to 'like' – at their hearts content, making the user who posted the content appear more popular.
Other hashtags used in the same way include #L4L – "like for like" – and #F4F – "follow for follow".
Where did the term come from?
The term "shoutout" has been around for a lot longer than social media.
It was being used by radio presenters, DJs, and MCs as far back as the 1980s, as a way of saying hello to a friend or loved one over the airwaves, in the audience, or in a club.
In recent years, with the rise of social media, it has evolved to also mean a promotion or a "plug".
Therefore, "shoutout for shoutout" simply means one promotion in exchange for another.
"Snap for snap" or "spam for spam" are just variations of this.
How do you give someone a shoutout on Instagram?
It's as simple as mentioning their Instagram account name, always preceded with an "@", anywhere your followers will see it.
This can be either posted on your main feed, or in your Stories, which will disappear from public view after 24 hours.
If one of the accounts has a lot more followers than the other, then the more popular account might charge for the shoutout.
On Snapchat, things work almost exactly the same way – influencers post shoutouts in their snaps and Stories.
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