Late yesterday afternoon, Twitter’s “favourite” star icon made way for a new “like” heart in one of the social network’s biggest brand make overs.
Twitter announced the change in a tweet posted from its account along with an illustrated GIF of how its new intended purpose.
— Twitter (@twitter) November 3, 2015
In reality, the favourite button was never really used in the same way as Facebook’s like button is. Most people simply used it to bookmark tweets, especially ones with links, as a way of referring back to them at a later stage.
Judging by the GIF and the feature’s renaming into “like” is clearly an indication that Twitter wants you to engage more with the button beyond bookmarking and put some emotion into how you feel about posts.
“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,” Twitter said on its blog.
For Facebook on the hand, the like is probably the second most recognisable logo, after the social network’s main blue and white “f” logo, and the button has always been a huge part of how people engage with content and publicly express their approval of it.
The like button’s legacy is also evolving and will to have a “dislike” button in future.
In essence, Twitter likes still work the same way as favourites did, your followers won’t see anything you’ve liked unless they go to your profile. Anything you do like will be saved under a “likes” tab on your profile. The feature has also been added to Twitter’s six-second video service, Vine.
Only time will tell whether or not this will help Twitter achieve its main goal, but unless it totally overhauls the way likes function, we’re guessing it will probably still be used the way favourites were.