Where does FBF come from?
As with the similar hashtag "#TBT," meaning throwback Thursday, "#FBF" began in the realm of Instagram. Interest in and use of flashback Friday began to pick up in late 2012, and by late 2014, Google search results for flashback Friday had peaked.
Users who include "#FBF" in their photo captions are most likely sharing an old photo or story of themselves—a liberal use of the term flashback, apparently motivated by alliteration and its similarity to throwback/TBT. It does not matter how long ago the photo was taken.
Today, "#FBF" is one of the most popular hashtags on Instagram. The tone of these posts range from nostalgia to self-deprecation to confidence. Users might simply take the opportunity to share the memory of a fun vacation after returning, thereby sharing a new photo they didn't post before, or to boost their confidence and solicit compliments by showing how they have changed for the better.
Who uses FBF?
As the acronym itself would imply, the hashtag "#FBF" or "#flashbackfriday" is most commonly used on Fridays by far.
Use of "#FBF" is practically identical to use of "#TBT," with the exception of the day of the week. Social-media users generally use the two interchangeably, depending on the day. That is, if a typical social-media user wanted to post an old picture, they could just as easily post it on Thursday with "#TBT" or Friday with "#FBF" for the same effect. The two hashtags simply give social-media users more opportunities to share old photos without having to explain why they aren't sharing something more current.
News articles and tweets from companies, sports teams, and brands also incorporate flashback Friday when sharing old stories, highlights, or nostalgic images. Individuals who post flashback Friday posts often use the term to point out how far they have come since their younger, "dorkier" days (e.g., Look at my haircut in middle school! #FBF)
On the social-media site Reddit, "#FBF" is also the hashtag used to tag Foul Bachelor Frog memes. This meme features a frog's head on a green background with advice and usually gross descriptions of single men's daily routines and behaviors. This use of the acronym FBF is significantly less common than the flashback Friday use.
Frizzy bangs and braces in Switzerland. The teenage struggle was real! #fbf
@TraceeEllisRoss, March, 2018
Can you please stop growing up ☹️. Sissy needs you to stay little forever. @hey._its._em._here #flashbackfriday
@samanthamegan23, Instagram, March, 2018
The last time a tropical cyclone tracked south along the #WestOz coastline @tajamos, @jay_davies & @dinoadrian were all over it. Excited for the weekend? We sure are! 🎥: @farmhouse_films #FlashbackFriday #FBF #WesternAustralia #WA #WestIsBest #TCbianca #WAsurfers #SurfingWA
@surfing_wa, Instagram, March, 2018