Why did Twitter ditch Favorites for Likes? The 3 Big Reasons

Earlier this month Twitter had people buzzing online, by and large on the platform itself, about the adoption of the like and heart to replace the favorite and star. Here are the three main reasons for the switch.

To become more universal

While it’s an easy assumption for some to make, equating the star to positivity with the “favorite” function isn’t necessarily known on the large scale. On the other hand, the heart is not only one of the oldest symbols on earth, it’s proven to work on other social media platforms.

The heart symbol is one of the oldest icons in civilization, with origins traced back to the Ice Age. An international symbol, the heart was a staple of culture and religious practices in Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greeks, Romans and early Americans. Because of the symbol’s ability to transcend time, language and cultural barriers, it has become a universal sign for expressing positivity on social media.

Using love and hearts in world-wide marketing is not new and Twitter is now catering to an audience beyond the United State.

Twitter needed a change

So far their change is working. Twitter has reported a 6 percent increase in Like activity after one week of switching to the hearts. This is trending in a much more favorable than their user growth, which prompted the move.

Forbes has reported that U.S. user growth has been flat through 2015. While internationally their have been increasing user, some speculate it’s because of the use of Twitter as strictly a messaging system.

Financially too, Twitter is a stock that is slumping worse than it ever has before. A year and a half removed from selling at more than $60 a share, TWTR is currently at $26.51. While many hope the stock can blow back up like Apple and Facebook, it’s still murky

Conflicting purpose

While the Favorite was unique to Twitter, its purpose was not clear. While some used it to save Tweets and others to show agreement or satisfaction, the like now provides clarity in purpose. Clicking the heart means liking the Tweet, and older, less tech-savvy users will adjust better drawing from familiarity of Facebook which has a like function.

While the purpose is more defined there is no change to the function of the mechanism. Tweets that are liked are still saved in a tab like favorites were. So people who want to go through their like, or snoop through the likes of others, can still do so.

Our poll on Twitter said only one respondent was using the function differently after the change.

If the heart is changing how people use the function, maybe Twitter made a change that not only benefits the new and future users, but current ones too.

Overall, Twitter was feeling the pressure of becoming more adaptable to the world-wide market. Between the universal notoriety of the heart and its proven record with other social media it was a smart choice for Twitter. Those who disagree will have to argue against the 6 percent increase.

Author: Nick Beaulieu

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