27 Jan What the Death of Twitter Favourites Could Mean For Your Business
Twitter has killed the ‘favourite’ star and replaced it with a ‘like’ heart. A lot of people aren’t happy. Here’s what the change could mean to the way you use the social network for business.
Twitter favourites are dead. The star button has gone too – replaced by a heart, upon which every click is known as a like.
Users, on the whole, aren’t happy about this; the favourite was unique – something to separate this social network from the rest. Swapping it out for likes and a schmoozy love heart seems like Twitter trying to be something it’s not – i.e. Facebook and Instagram.
If you use Twitter purely for business, you might not be as heavily invested in the product. The sunsetting of favourites probably seems like nothing more than an aesthetic change. It’s actually more than that. It’s not going to change your life or anything, but it certainly might impact on the way you interact with your followers and vice-versa.
More than a favourite
Far from being any kind of revolutionary button, a favourite on Twitter was more than simply you letting someone know you liked a tweet. It was semantically different from a heart and could be used and construed in several different ways.
There was the ‘bookmarking fav’, the ‘appreciation fav’, the ‘awkward fav’, and the ‘this-is-far-as-the-conversation-goes-but-I’ve-seen-and-appreciate-your-tweet’ fav. There was even a ‘hate fav’ – a sarcastic, passive aggressive nod to another user that you disagreed with something. Despite looking exactly like any other kind of fav, the hate fav would be taken exactly how you intended and happened to be a personal favourite for many users.
A like is nothing more a like and that could play on the subconscious.
You don’t go throwing likes about willy-nilly. You have to have a genuine heartfelt fondness for what you see to do that.
This could impact on your content. A like is something people dish out when they agree with what you’re saying. It’s overwhelming, sometimes nausea-inducing, positivity is not engineered for bookmarking or disagreement.
You could see tweet engagement drop off, which promotes paranoia…is your strategy working correctly, are you posting the type of content people want to see, do you actually even know your audience?
It’s all a big mess that could take some down the path of fishing for likes – only publishing tweets and retweets that appeal to the masses. Out go insights and opinions and in come pictures of cats and videos of baby’s first steps.
Okay, perhaps that’s a bit melodramatic. But likes are harder to earn than favourites and this could change the way you operate.
Moreover, it could affect the way you interact with your Twitter community. Having dined on a diet of Facebook for so long, you’ll be less inclined to chuck around likes in the same way you used to with favourites for fear of endorsing something on behalf of the entire business.
This new, more reserved nature will mean less people seeing your name in their notifications, which will naturally result in fewer clicks on your profile and a drop off in any followers you might have garnered from that.
It seems like a step backwards and one that just so happens to have come at the same time as Facebook tests ‘reactions’ that let people respond to posts with an animated emoji.
In Favour of the Heart
Of course, it’s all about opinions and not everyone thinks that this particular change is a bad thing.
Twitter investor, Chris Sacca, argues that the heart and likes are a good thing. ‘Favourite’, he says, is too strong of a word and one that many users are baffled by.
Hearts, he believes, are something people are familiar with, which could help attract new users – something Twitter struggles with.
A study by SwiftKey showed that hearts are a far more popular emoji than stars, which maybe suggests people would be more comfortable getting involved with Twitter were the heart-like tandem in place.
Only time will tell if this is the case.
Currently, though, hearts and likes are replacing a feature that kept Twitter unique from Facebook and existing users – the only people that matter at this stage – aren’t happy.
Oh god, it’s a mess. A hot mess.
What’s your opinion on the new like button? Do you despise it like a great number of the Twitter universe? Are you a fan of the change? Do you actually even care at all? Let us know in the comments below.