Twitter Turns Favorites to ‘Likes,’ Spurring #TwitterHeart Debate

Many of the 316 million active Twitter users follow, tweet and retweet articles and other notes of interest on a regular basis for one simple reason: It’s not Facebook.

Shorter, more serious, news and business-centric posts fill the space reserved on Facebook for cat photos, wedding and baby announcements and the latest kid photos and Internet memes.

Twitter released a heart icon to "like" posts.
The new Twitter heart replaces the favorite button on the social media network.

Still, it seems that Twitter is trying to lessen the difference gap between the two networks with Tuesday’s release of a heart or “like” button to replace the former star or favorite button. In an email I received notifying me of the change, Twitter said I could “make someone’s day, just like that” and I could “show how I feel without missing a beat.”

An animated image shows the heart icon being used to show everything from “adorbs,” “aww,” to “LOL,” “Wow,” “High Five,” “Congrats” and a few others.

Soon after news of the so-called #TwitterHeart release, Twitter users debated the relevance of the new icon. One user wrote, “Twitter is not where I go to get in touch with my feelings. It’s where I go to avoid them.”

Others used the #NotFacebook hashtag to express annoyance with the new icon. Still other Twitter users posted polls asking if people preferred a star or a heart, while some called for a ban of the timeless symbol of love.

Twitter users are upset about the social media network's new heart icon.
Which do you prefer: The star “favorite” button or the heart “like” button on Twitter?

In the grand scheme of social media, the heart versus star debate is a small ripple in a much larger wave.

Twitter is facing backlash simply because it failed to listen to its customers – in this case users who differentiate themselves from Facebook’s audience. Knowing your customer and understanding his or her expectations is imperative. It’s how businesses stand out from the competition rather than aping it.

What do you think of the new Twitter “like” button? Share your thoughts here. P.S. You can say how you feel with other emojis. Click here for more information.

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