Yesterday Twitter caused a stir; in the office and around the globe. Twitter – and Vine – now no longer deal in ‘favourites’, but ‘likes’. Sound familiar?
Shrieks went up from all directions. Account manager, Sheri Matthews, was in tears. The Twitter like… What were they thinking?
In a blog post Twitter product manager, Ashvin Kumar, explained that “at times the star could be confusing”, that “you might like a lot of things, but not everything can be your favorite.”
Not to pick holes in your reasoning, Ashvin, but a heart isn’t as indicative of ‘liking’ something as Facebook’s universally recognised thumbs up. Maybe I just need time, but it feels like Twitter has thrown us into a world of meaningless love.
It’s no secret that Twitter’s been struggling in recent times, growing by a mere 4 million users in the last quarter. That represents growth of just over 1%. While that may not sound paltry, Facebook grew a huge 3.47% in the same period.
But is mimicking Facebook the way to go? The Huffington Post has suggested that it’s a bold move in the right direction; supporting the masses over power users. Rubbish. Just look at the reactions…
A couple of tweets hit the nail squarely on the head…
If Twitter want to change the fav icon to represent how people actually use it; it should be an anim of a small, patronising pat on the head
— rob manuel (@robmanuel) November 3, 2015
Fav never meant favourite anyway. It means “I agree.”, “That’s funny, but not enough to RT.”, or “Let’s end the conversation here.” — Andy Kelly (@ultrabrilliant) November 3, 2015
In changing from a favourite to a like (love), Twitter has transformed a fairly neutral action into one of endorsement, patronising and alienating its users in one fell swoop. And they’re red…
Ultimately, nothing in particular will come of this. There’ll be no mass exodus, but it won’t change Twitter’s fortunes for the better either. Was it worth it, Twitter?