On Tuesday, Twitter announced it was replacing the ability to ‘favorite’ tweets, symbolized by a star, with a ‘like’ option, symbolized by a heart, on both Twitter and Vine.
The favorite, with its synonymous star icon, was introduced just after Twitter’s launch in 2006, before Tumblr introduced their hearts in 2008, or Facebook introduced the ‘like’ button in 2009. Twitter product manager, Akarshan Kumar, explained in a blog post that “we know that at times the star could be confusing, especially to newcomers. You might like a lot of things, but not everything can be your favorite.” Hence the change. They went on to say that in contrast to ‘faving’ with stars, “The heart…is a universal symbol that resonates across languages, cultures, and time zones. The heart is more expressive, enabling you to convey a range of emotions and easily connect with people. And in our tests, we found that people loved it.” Hearts have become an integral part on Periscope, the Twitter-owned live-streaming app, and it appears the company wants to translate that success to their other networks.
However, some tweeters were very unhappy about the change of both the option’s icon as well as its name.
Others, though, welcomed the change and the potential for social change that it could bring.
A few users made jokes on the subject, including NHL team, the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The intended purpose of the ‘fav’ was similar to that of a Facebook ‘like’, but many users treated the button as a bookmark, and are left wondering if they should continue that practice.
Or, perhaps the outlash over this change really signifies a greater frustration with Twitter itself.
What do you think of Twitter changing its ‘favs’ to ‘likes’? Let us know by tweeting @PopSci!