As I logged onto Twitter today I noticed something slightly different.
On their blog, Twitter commented by saying ‘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 yourfavorite.
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.’
Since Jack Dorsey took over as interim CEO in Twitter in July, Twitter has rolled out several products including a “buy now” button that allows users to make purchases directly through Twitter. The “like” icon is still available on Twitter and the company’s Vine video streaming service.
With the symbol of the heart button now replacing the favourite button it gives “central wisdom of feeling as opposed to the head-wisdom of reason” (Cooper, 82). It is compassion and understanding, life-giving and complex. It is a symbol for love. Often known as the seat of emotions, the heart is synonymous with affection. I really like the new symbol for the simple reason that anything that promotes a universal symbol of love, understanding and compassion is a winner for me.
But who knew that an act designed to positively promote more love across Twitter would conclude with so many comments spurting so much hate across the digital platform? Today, I have seen so many negative posts about the new button.Twitter’s decision to move from fave to like and star to heart has not been met with universal approval. Jason Calacanis, an investor, wrote on Twitter earlier today; “Changing Twitter’s star to a heart is the worst product decision in the history of the internet; makes a bookmark into an endorsement”.
Journalists who cover extremely grave topics and rely on Twitter to share their work are understandably concerned that a confetti-pulsing love note won’t always be appropriate. Activists who have long pressured Twitter to add new security or privacy features to prevent harassment and abuse are understandably disappointed that the company evidently poured time into animating a new icon instead of developing a new safety feature
Many tweeters said they did not care one bit about the heart/star debate and told others to just stop complaining and embrace the change.
Today, Gizmodo published a guide on how to replace the new heart button if you really don’t like it and change it to whatever you want. However, users found problems with Gizmodos instructions so Mary Sue.com took over and adjusted some of the problems. On the site, it talks you through step by step on changes to your buttons on your profile. Check out TheMarySue.Com for further instructions on how to do this.
The Chrome extension Fav Forever was created by Brooklyn-based developer Reed Kavner and changes the hearts back to stars, but only on the Twitter desktop website. Some Twitter users have taken to the platform to air their distaste with the demise of the “fave”.
For many reasons I welcome the heart particularly because it is universal and because I welcome change for progress. Welcome to the futureof the Twittesphere!
If you have any thoughts on this blog post, please feel free to let me know what you think 🙂