Any time a social platform makes a design change, many users react immediately and negatively. Twitter’s decision to replace the favorite star with a like heart was no different, met with more rage than acceptance.
But that rage didn’t translate into action.
New research by Locowise found that since the switch, Twitter has seen a 27.82 percent increase in liking tweets vs. favoriting them. Locowise studied more than 1,500 Twitter accounts in the 3 month period before and after the change — a total of more than 2.2 million tweets.
Locowise’s Sahail Ashraf wrote about the main difference between the utilization of favorite vs. like:
People used to star stuff on Twitter because it was an easy way to lock onto tweets they wanted to check out later. When you are sifting through tweets and find an important news item you would star the tweet. You can simply come back to your favourites at a later date and in that way have your Twitter life pretty much organised. And that worked. It also meant that you were able to find tweets that were genuinely interesting to you.
This is a great idea for news-based tweets for example. People could simply star their notable news tweets that had floated into their stream and keep an eye on events. From terrorist acts to celebrity weddings. It made for an easier way to navigate the Twitter experience.
About those terrorist events. Starring a terrorist event to read a tweet about it later makes perfect sense. The tweet is notable. It rates highly in your book because it’s of great interest. But adding a heart to a news tweet about a terrorist event? That, arguably, kind of makes for a slightly more uncomfortable experience.
Readers: Do you miss the star or have you embraced the heart?