Strong feelings, as Twitter swaps stars for hearts

Microblogging platform switches from ‘favourite’ to ‘like’ system

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Strong feelings, as Twitter swaps stars for hearts (Getty Images)
By  Stephen McBride Published  November 4, 2015

Twitter has swapped its star icon, used to mark a tweet as "favourite", with a heart button, as the microblogging platform faces flagging user growth and a growing number of grumbling investors. But the move has drawn strong reaction from existing tweeters.

Recently appointed CEO Jack Dorsey is also CEO of Square, a digital payments company that is preparing for IPO. At a time when Twitter is struggling to attract new users to its platform, some analysts and investors are critical of the appointment of a chief executive with split focus.

The heart-shaped "like" button is the latest in a series of feature launches under Dorsey that includes a "buy now" button, allowing in-platform purchases, and a ranking mechanism for the best tweets and content. The "like" system follows Alphabet's YouTube, Facebook-owned Instagram and Facebook itself, in providing a uniform user experience.

"You might like a lot of things, but not everything can be your favourite," Twitter said in a blog yesterday. "We know that at times the star could be confusing, especially to newcomers."

But not all tweeters felt the same, leading to the creation of a #WeWantFavButtonBack hashtag. One user even went as far as to call the change "the worst product decision in the history of the Internet", while others accused Twitter of copying Facebook.

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