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".
— Twitter (@twitter) November 3, 2015
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.
Hey @jack! I like <3, but it's a good idea to "like" bad news with a heart?! How about it: "Stars" for bookmark tweets & hearts for like!— Julia Probst (@EinAugenschmaus) November 3, 2015
No more favorites on Twitter? What if I want to bookmark a tweet, but don't necessarily 'heart' it (like bad news)? #socialmedia— Will Greenwood (@wltgreenwood) November 3, 2015
Dear @Twitter: I do not like changing Favorites to Likes and stars to infantile hearts, and would like a big nasty button to express this— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) November 3, 2015
I go away for Twitter for one minute and they ruin faves.— Charlie Lindlar (@charlielindlar) November 3, 2015
a leprechaun sobs. "hearts, stars, they're all the same inside, why must you fight so" pic.twitter.com/N15bOmC6if— MGK (@mightygodking) November 3, 2015
All Twitter bios now need to read:
RTs ≠ endorsements
Favs ≠ flirting— Ryan Teague Beckwith (@ryanbeckwith) November 3, 2015
"We're losing the social media war! What do we do! I need ideas!"
"What if we change stars to hearts?"
"BRILLIANT!"— Mike Drucker (@MikeDrucker) November 3, 2015
The only way to fix this is to replace ❤️ with 🍆— Rusty Foster (@rustyk5) November 3, 2015
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.
Love the heart, @Twitter.
Now let's do something about the rape threats my friends and I regularly receive.— Chloe Angyal (@ChloeAngyal) November 3, 2015
Twitter: "Deal with the vast climate of unchecked abuse that drives people away from the platform? Haha! Have some hearts instead"— Bailey (@the_author_) November 3, 2015
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.
Twitter made a small but key change to "favourites" today. What do you think?— HuffPost Canada (@HuffPostCanada) November 3, 2015
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