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Twitter Changes Faves Icon To Hearts, Power Users Don't Like It

11/03/2015 11:34 EST | Updated 11/03/2015 11:59 EST
Twitter

Twitter got a little more heartfelt on Tuesday morning when the social media service changed the star icon it uses for "favourites" to a "heart".

The company explained why on its blog:

We are changing our star icon for favorites to a heart and we’ll be calling them likes. We want to make Twitter easier and more rewarding to use, and 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.

The change should be rolling out on Twitter's many apps and Tweetdeck throughout the day.

Twitter also explained that the heart was more positive and conveyed more emotion than a star. Twitter users "fave" tweets to express agreement, support, and acknowledgement. Many others also use it to bookmark or save tweets that they noticed for reading later.

And those users did not take kindly to this change, showing a range of reactions that are far more expressive than a mere heart. One of the most common is that the heart might be inappropriate in cases of bad news.

Other users also pointed out that Twitter has a well-known problem with harassment and abuse with which it hasn't dealt. The problem is serious enough that senior members of the Twitter team have acknowledged it.

"I’ve also been seriously troubled by the plight of some of our users who are completely overwhelmed by those who are trying to silence healthy discourse in the name of free expression. At times, this takes the form of hateful speech in tweets directed at women or minority groups; at others, it takes the form of threats aimed to intimidate those who take a stand on issues," Twitter's general counsel Vijaya Gadde wrote in the Washington Post in April.

The move makes Twitter similar to a number of other social networks such as Instagram, which lets you "heart" photos, and Facebook, with its ubiquitous "like" button.

Periscope, a live video platform owned by Twitter, only lets its users send hearts to broadcasters.

Of course, we want to know what you think about Twitter's latest change.

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