The tech giant said the revamp was a less ambiguous way for new users to show support for a tweet in a move that edges Twitter closer to a Facebook-esque interface, because Twitter refers to the new function as a “like”.
The move has proved divisive – and at least one person within the firm disapproves. Peter Seibel, a staff engineer at the firm according to his LinkedIn page, said: “I work at @twitter but even I can’t believe how we replaced a completely value-neutral term like ‘favorite’ with something so loaded.”
Other users voiced their displeasure, including @TGurie, who said: “I seriously dislike that you can no longer favourite things on Twitter and it’s now like. Stop that. #ChangeItBack””
The old favouriting function, represented by a gold star, typically indicated support for a tweet, though it was also a way to “save” articles or tweets for future reference, as @Noelinho points out. “No @Twitter, I don’t love things I favourite,” he said. “I merely want them for reference.” The change has also been extended to Vine.
In a blog post, Twitter said: “We are changing our star icon for favorites to a heart and we’ll be calling them likes. 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. You might like a lot of things, but not everything can be your favorite.
“The heart, in contrast, is a universal symbol that resonates across languages, cultures, and time zones. The heart is more expressive, enabling you to convey a range of emotions and easily connect with people. And in our tests, we found that people loved it.”