Follow and unfollow user is a part of the friends plugin. Now you can follow other members and see what their posts about in your following stream without adding them as your friends. Or if you don't want to see their posts on your following stream but you want to remain friends, just unfollow them. New friendships also are marked as people you follow and vice versa when you accept a friend request
When in Community view you can see everything going on in the community. Whereas, Following allows you to focus on the most important to you things. Your friends, your groups or even people you’re not friends with. Following stream posts only from members & groups you follow. So you won’t see posts from people or groups you don’t follow even if those posts have the privacy settings that allow you to see them. In addition there’s a secondary setting for showing and hiding ‘my posts’. If you don’t want to see your own posts and just focus on others.
On members page you can filter members by the following status.