Who knew that an act designed to engender more love across Twitter would end up spawning so much hate?
When the beleaguered social network announced this morning that it was replacing its star icon signifying a ‘favorite’ Tweet with a heart icon that will now be referred to as a ‘like,’ outrage quickly rippled across the Twittersphere.
“We know that at times the star could be confusing, especially to newcomers,” the user-strapped company explained in a blog post that baffled seasoned Tweeters. “The heart, in contrast, is a universal symbol that resonates across languages, cultures, and time zones.”
Though the Internet tends to be uniquely prone to blind and sudden indignation, users brought up valid concerns. “Changing Twitter's star to a heart is the worst product decision in the history of the internet; makes a bookmark into an endorsement,” wrote noted investor Jason Calacanis in a Tweetstorm this afternoon. “It's also an admission by Twitter that Facebook's LIKE metaphor is the key to their success, pandering to heartstrings over intelligence.”
The update, however, has been the vision of noted Twitter investor Chris Sacca since last June. “A very high bar is set by using the word ‘Favorite,’” he wrote in a blog post that suggested several changes to Twitter’s interface -- including pictures and videos that are double-clickable to heart (à la Instagram), receipts when Tweets have been read, and a ‘Thank you bomb’ feature that enables users with lots of followers to send mass gratitude notifications all at once.
Media types, who tend to comprise a passionate faction of Twitter’s user base, were largely disheartened. While some wondered how the company ultimately came to the unpopular conclusion:
ironically, twitter didn’t use its OWN NEW FEATURE — polls — to learn that no one wants hearts— Chris Ziegler (@zpower) November 3, 2015
Others had some ideas about how the site might really start to enrage existing users:
If Twitter really wants to mess with people they’ll change Retweets to Endorsements— Mike Brown (@mikearildbrown) November 3, 2015
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