Twitter’s star that you use to favourite tweets on the network has officially been replaced with a heart. Twitter said that the star was confusing newcomers (seriously people, is it that hard to grasp?) and noted that users “might like a lot of things, but not everything can be your favourite.”
The company announced that it was switching the ‘star’ icon for a ‘heart’ and that the change will signify a ‘like’ rather than a ‘favourite.’ It makes sense that the heart resonates universally in comparison to a star, I get that. However at the same time we are now running into the same problem we have been up against on Facebook over the past number of years – not everything I see on Twitter is like worthy so why am I limited to only one kind of reaction?
Facebook has started testing out different reactions on their website and app as users have been telling them for years that having the option to only like something is not enough. Now Twitter is only offering the option to like something and could fall foul of the problems Facebook have been working on for a long time.
— Twitter (@twitter) November 3, 2015
The new heart icon is rolling out to Android and iOS devices as well as TweetDeck, Vine and Twitter for Mac. Twitter said that during a testing phase, people loved the new icons however on Tuesday there was mixed reaction on the social network and while Twitter say they went with hearts because stars are confusing to newcomers, most people were in fact confused at the decision to change to hearts.
Why are there love hearts everywhere, Twitter? It's like Hello Kitty threw up in here.
— Kate Crawford (@katecrawford) November 3, 2015
Our grandparents didn't storm the beaches of Normandy to see the twitter star become a heart.
— Big Cat (@BarstoolBigCat) November 3, 2015
Personally I have used the star in the past to recognise a tweet sent to me that I didn’t necessarily feel the need to reply to, an acknowledgment of sorts. I have also used it to save links that I wanted to return to at a later stage. I get why they feel the need to change it to something people would instantly understand without explanation however I’m not sure if I particularly like what they are changing to. Of course others saw the funny side of things.
I wonder how #ISIS Twitter is handling the hearts update.
— Ahmed (@AlshehmaniA) November 3, 2015
— Ataraxia-art (@ataraxia_art) November 3, 2015
Of course Instagram also uses hearts at the moment so a heart icon is nothing really new or special. It is nothing we have never ever seen before elsewhere. However the biggest concern is that using the heart may lead to confusion on what it really really means when you click it.
if you click the heart I’m going to assume you’re in love with me
— ?? (@yurivictor) November 3, 2015
Disclaimer: If I "heart" your tweets, I am in no way flirting with you.
— Faisal. (@OneAndOnlyCFC) November 3, 2015
What are we thinking then, hearts on Twitter – is it good or is it bad?