What is following for?
Why do you follow people? Is it just to compare xp's?
Hi, could you please edit your post from the "Spanish" category to the "Duolingo" category? The Spanish forum is only where we talk about Spanish related topics. The Duolingo category is just about general questions about how Duolingo works, friends, lingots etc. If we put discussions in wrong categories, then they are just basically cluttering the forums up and reserving space for the more important posts. If you are unsure about which category to post your future discussions in, these are a place to start:
To answer your question: Following people is just for fun. Yes, it is to compete with them and get as many XP's as you can.