Twitter has decided to ditch its star-shaped Favorite button. The star is getting replaced with a heart icon, and Twitter is calling it the Like. That’s right, just as Facebook is testing alternatives to the Like button, Twitter is going with a Like of its own.
— Twitter (@Twitter) November 3, 2015
The change has already started rolling out to users on the web and mobile apps, as well as on Twitter-owned Vine. Developers are also being asked to update their apps with the new Liking system. According to Twitter, this is to enable more expressive use of the social network.
“We know that at times the star could be confusing, especially to newcomers,” Twitter product manager Akarshan Kumar said in a blog post. “You might like a lot of things, but not everything can be your favorite.
“The heart, in contrast, 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.”
The change to heart-shaped Likes comes on the heels of Twitter’s new Moments feature, which make it easier for new users to find important conversations on the struggling social network. Last quarter, Twitter’s user growth shrunk to just 11 percent, down 23 percent from last year. The move to a heart may be more welcoming to new users.
However, many of Twitter’s veteran users are upset over the change. In particular, they seem to feel that a Favorite avoided some of the connotations that a Like has, which Facebook recognized earlier this year.
❤️ has a different emotional value attached to it than ⭐️
Facebook finally realized this; c’mon Twitter https://t.co/KhkIfvtbNK
— Mike Murphy (@mcwm) November 3, 2015
At a time when other networks are embracing more flexible graphical language Twitter is going with the fixed, literal Like. Ugh.
— Farhad Manjoo ? (@fmanjoo) November 3, 2015
I work at @twitter but even I can’t believe how we replaced a completely value-neutral term like “favorite” with something so loaded.
— Peter Seibel (@peterseibel) November 3, 2015
my ⭐️ will go on
— ಠ_ಠ (@MikeIsaac) November 3, 2015
Obviously, there’s a Twitter poll on the subject too:
⭐ or ❤️?
— Joanna Stern (@JoannaStern) November 3, 2015
And one user has a solution, which was presented all the way back in 2014.
Amidst the Twitter fav controversy, a proposal. pic.twitter.com/iwsWSgMeUs
— Garrett Miller (@heyitsgarrett) August 28, 2014
Twitter had been testing hearts earlier this year, without calling them Likes. While earlier tests were only for a select group of users, this change is already rolling out for everyone.