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Twitter Swaps Stars for Hearts and Favourites for Likes


With virtually no fanfare, Twitter have quietly switched out the star-shaped 'Favourite' button for a heart-shaped 'Like' button. I imagine there are a few questions burning from your brain through to your brow, and the biggest one is probably - why? Well, I'm here to help, as always. The answer is - I'm not entirely sure.

I know, I should be earning millions for those kinds of insights, but hold up, my lack of certainty stems from the fact that there are several different key factors motivating Twitter at the moment. The foremost is a need for increased appeal to new users. Twitter currently has 300 million, but their growth rate has slowed and almost shifted into reverse gear as they continue to lose ground to Instagram and Snapchat, Facebook aren't even in that conversation anymore, Twitter is barely even visible from their vantage.

Why is a like better than a favourite? Well, in Twitter's own words, it's more general, since you can't 'favourite' everything, the films you like are not all, invariably, your favourite films, I do not hold The 40 Year Old Virgin to the same standard as Alien. The heart comes from a desire to use a symbol which is more universally recognisable across different cultures. Never mind the fact that the heart symbol has actually meant a number of different things across the centuries (including a butt), it is now the most accepted online symbol for appreciation or affection, next to the hallowed thumbs up. Although in some parts of West Africa and the Middle East, that means you're going to jam your thumb up their butt. Man, what is it with butts today?

Favouriting always acted more like a bookmarking tool, rather than an upvote on Twitter anyway, much like Tumblr and in my opinion, given Twitter's format, that made a lot more sense. This change doesn't necessarily alter that, but it might mean that posts end up pulling in far more likes than retweets, where before it could usually go either way. This move likely won't pull Twitter's collective butts (and again) out of the fire, and if anything further similarity to Facebook or even Tumblr is the last thing they need, but as is the way with these things, it's just a matter of playing the waiting game (and/or Hungry Hungry Hippos).

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Twitter Swaps Stars for Hearts and Favourites for Likes Reviewed by Unknown on Wednesday, November 04, 2015 Rating: 5

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