Twitter had a big change of heart. The star icon, which stood for the underused “favorite” features, is gone. In its place now stands a heart, which stands for “Like”.
And as with everything on Twitter, everyone has an opinion.
— Twitter (@twitter) November 3, 2015
In the above blog post, Twitter explained that the star logo was confusing for newcomers. The heart, on the other hand, is more universally known and is more expressive for a range of emotions.
The change from “Favorite” to “Like” displays the more fundamental change. A Favorite is more personal, while a Like is more public, as Nate Clinton, director of product strategy at Cooper design firm, explained to Wired:
Favorite is a bookmarking concept from the old days of the web. It’s personal, like I just want to save this myself, whereas a like is more public.
Twitter, for its part, argues the opposite concept. “You might like a lot of things, but not everything can be your favorite,” it said. Notice that Twitter is hammering in the word “Like” and not “Love”. In a world where emojis have deep meanings, semantics matter.
Twitter now using a heart instead of a star to indicate favourites. Would just like to point out, THIS DOES NOT INDICATE CONSENT.
— Milo Yiannopoulos (@Nero) November 3, 2015
Keep Calm and Carry On
Twitter already notified you when someone favorited your tweet or a tweet that mentioned you. So a Favorite was already a public acknowledgment of sorts. A Like is the logical evolution of that for a social network, since they’re about emotions.
Just like with most changes, this is going to blow over and we’ll all get used to it soon enough. But typically, Twitter has reacted strongly to this.
This new Twitter Heart is too much of a commitment. Your tweets are cool and everything but I'm not ready to love them. They aight tho.
— Gabourey Sidibe (@GabbySidibe) November 3, 2015
Seriously Twitter, you guys have a poll now. Why don't you just ask us before making any changes? #TwitterHeart
— Mr. Drinks On Me (@Mr_DrinksOnMe) November 4, 2015
We don't want: -Fave star to be replaced by "heart" We want: -Edit button. -More than 140 characters. -Use gif as icon. #TwitterHeart
— aesthe dick (@dickpopussy) November 4, 2015
Several users commented that Twitter was becoming too much like Facebook, and ruining what they loved about the microblogging platform.
Seems to me that heart-liking gets Twitter into the same positivity trap as facebook—hard to acknowledge w/out agreeing.
— Joe Brown (@joemfbrown) November 3, 2015
— HaveIGotNewsForYou (@haveigotnews) November 4, 2015
I feel like slowly twitter is going to turn into facebook… with this heart business ????
— Look someone just (@Tag_a_twin) November 3, 2015
RIP straight men's Twitter likes, since masculinity is too fragile to be pushing a button that's heart shaped.
— R.J. Aguiar (@rj4gui4r) November 4, 2015
Not everyone hates the new Hearts and Likes though:
Okay so Twitter has just changed the 'favourite' to like with a little love heart. That's cute
— Oli White (@OliWhiteTV) November 3, 2015
At the end of the day, I'm liking the change from fav to like. A lot clearer to interpret when people click it now. pic.twitter.com/wdOTAn5Mrd
— Rohan Naravane (@r0han) November 4, 2015
How to Manage or Delete Your Old Favorites
Here’s the thing. Favorites are dead, but everything you have already favorited till now will show up as a Like. And that makes a big, big difference.
@jamesrbuk Holy shit. I've now got to go through more than a thousand likes to make sure none of them make me look like an idiot.
— Allie Dickinson (@AllieDickinson) November 3, 2015
The bad news? There isn’t an option to magically delete all tweets in one fell swoop. And you might want to save some of them for the links. You could go through your Twitter favorites list, but a couple of apps do help in the process.
To manage your favorites or likes, FavGuard is my preferred option. Sign in and give it a few minutes, after which it will fetch your entire list of Favorites. FavGuard does a great job of sorting them into tweets with links and tweets without links. This way, you can see all your favorites with links, and bookmark them separately. I’d recommend using Pocket, the best digital bookmarking service, and do install its browser extension to get a “Save Link to Pocket” option in the right-click context menu.
To bulk delete your favorites or likes, head to Unfavinator. Again, you’ll need to sign in with Twitter and grant it access to your favorites. All the favorites are listed one below the other, with a handy “X” button that you can click to unfavorite/unlike it. I found it to be much, much faster than doing it through any other method.
How to Save Tweets From Now On
@laurenlaverne 80% of my faves are stories on my reading list. Rarely stuff I actually like/approve of as haven't read yet
— Sophie Wilkinson (@sophwilkinson) November 3, 2015
The “Like” button is now an emotional reaction, but what if you still want to just save a tweet for later? Well, you have a few options.
Again, I recommend using Pocket or a similar popular tool to save stuff to read. Install the extension for that service in your web browser so that it shows up in the right-click context menu. When you’re browsing Twitter on the computer, just right-click an interesting link to save the link, or right-click the time of the tweet to save the tweet.
If you’re browsing Twitter on the phone or tablet, then ditch the official app and use third-party Twitter apps for Android or third-party Twitter apps for iOS. Apps like Twitterrific make it easy to save links to bookmarking apps like Pocket.
In case you’re using the official app, then save links in iPhone through the sharing menu, or edit and clean up Android’s sharing menu to make it easy to bookmark items. In either scenario, remember to put our bookmarking app at the top of the sharing menu.
What Do You Think of Hearts and Likes?
Twitter is killing the fav and replacing it with likes. Which do you prefer?
— polls (@polls) November 3, 2015
As Buzzfeed’s poll indicates, existing Twitter users aren’t too happy with the new icon and meaning. But a poll only tells so much. We want to know what you think! So in the comments below, tell us whether you’re an existing Twitter user or not, and whether Hearts and Likes is a welcome change or not.