Twitter replaces “Stars” with “Hearts”


Twitter, the popular social networking platform known for its short messages or tweets made an important change to its app interface. The “favorite” button in the app will now be replaced by a “Likes” button. Although this looks like a small alteration, it specifies an end of an era. The “favorites” button was the service’s primary way for users to do a lot of things such as signal agreement, acknowledgement, laughter, support, and hatred. The “likes” button will be represented in its apps and on the web by red heart icons. The changes will also apply to Vine, another Twitter owned company.

The company aims to simplify the user experience with this change as it looks to attract new users. “We want to make Twitter easier and more rewarding to use, and we know that at times the star could be confusing, especially to newcomers,” product manager Akarshan Kumar said in a blog post. “You might like a lot of things, but not everything can be your favorite.”

Favorites symbolized by the stars button were introduced in 2006. They were initially designed for bookmarking tweets. Third-party developers made the feature more useful through services like Favrd and Favstar. It was unique to Twitter and made the service distinctive. However, it hasn’t been of much use to advertisers and the company’s stocks have suffered accordingly. Returning CEO Jack Dorsey has promised a series of “bold moves” to reignite user growth — the company added just 4 million net active users last quarter.

Initial tests showed that people who had “hearts” enabled on their accounts; used them more often; which is good news for the company. Likes and hearts are increasingly becoming popular for social networking sites such as Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, etc. Vine previously used a smiley face, and Periscope debuted with hearts. Now they’ll all be the same.

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