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article imageTwitter users unhappy as 'Favourites' relaunched as 'Likes'

By James Walker     Nov 3, 2015 in Internet
Twitter has removed the ability to favourite a tweet by clicking the star icon and replaced it with "Likes" signified by hearts. Described as a "universal symbol" that makes the network more accessible, many users are unhappy.
The change was introduced on the Twitter blog and has already been implemented on the main Twitter website. Updates to Twitter's official iOS, Android and Windows 10 apps today will see the feature introduced to every major platform over the next few hours.
The old yellow star icon has been replaced by a prominent red heart. Clicking it places a "like" on a tweet instead of a favourite in a move that removes one of Twitter's former core characteristics.
Akarshan Kumar, Twitter Product Manager, said the use of "likes" will make the social network "easier and more rewarding to use." Some newcomers to Twitter apparently find the star confusing but immediately understand the heart icons of other services.
Twitter said: "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."
Twitter s new  Like  button
Twitter's new "Like" button
Screenshot of Twitter's Twitter feed
The reaction online so far has been decidedly mixed with some people evidently not loving likes themselves. The London Evening Standard notes that tweets about the change range from people telling Twitter to "be itself" to warnings that a "like" may not be as universally suitable as a "favourite."
User @MorwennaJones wrote "No twitter, I want to "favourite" a tweet about Syria. I certainly do not want to *heart* it. This is an outrage." @Veeren_Jubbal tweeted a similar message, saying "Let us "heart videos, and images of police brutality for example? Yeah--Twitter not an improvement. You screwed up, Twitter."
It isn't just Twitter that is changing to include hearts. The feature is also coming to Vine, the seven-second video loop sharing service that it owns, after first debuting on the company's Periscope app. Twitter says it's "delighted" to replace favourites and make likes the "common language" of its global community of users across all three apps.
The concept of likes is already used by platforms like Facebook. Instagram, the Facebook-owned photo sharing app, also lets users like posts and uses a heart icon to symbolise the action. Twitter is making the change so it is less alienating to users coming from other networks, something that is important to it as it struggles to attract new users.
More about Twitter, Favourite, Tweet, Like, Social network
 
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