Twitter is about to remove the red, heart-shaped ‘like’ function from its platform, reports suggest.
According to the Telegraph, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey said at a Twitter event last week that he would get rid of the like function “soon.” Per the Telegraph, Dorsey said he “was not a fan of the heart-shaped button.”
In March 2018, Twitter introduced a bookmarking function, which allows users to privately save tweets without hitting the like button – which not only implies a positive attitude towards the content of the tweet, but is also public.
The Twitter communications team addressed the future of the ‘like’ button in a tweet, saying that they were “rethinking everything about the service,” and that “that includes the like button.”
As we’ve been saying for a while, we are rethinking everything about the service to ensure we are incentivizing healthy conversation, that includes the like button. We are in the early stages of the work and have no plans to share right now. https://t.co/k5uPe5j4CW
— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) October 29, 2018
Twitter’s potential removal of the like button forms part of an effort to create a healthier climate of debate on the platform, the Telegraph reports.
Dorsey hinted at his dissatisfaction with the like function earlier this month when he spoke at the WIRED25 summit.
“We have a big like button with a heart on it and we’re incentivizing people to want it to go up,” Dorsey said. “Is that the right thing? Versus contributing to the public conversation or a healthy conversation? How do we incentivise healthy conversation?”
On the platform in question, people were pretty surprised by Dorsey’s attitude to the ‘like’ button.
Many users pointed out that Twitter has much deeper challenges and that changing basic functionality was the wrong place to start improving the platform:
Users: hey can you get rid of the Nazis please
Twitter: ok sure, we’ve changed the stars to hearts for likes
Users: no no, zero Nazis please
Twitter: yep we’re getting rid of Vine
Users: nah hey, what about the Nazis
Twitter: ok ok fine, no more likes https://t.co/HKE0BrCiVU
— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) October 29, 2018
Others will believe it when they see it:
The like button was added to Twitter in 2015 as replacement for the previous favourite button, which was star-shaped.
UPDATE: Oct. 29, 2018, 2:45 p.m. GMT Statement from Twitter.
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