Twitter as a social network is facing many difficulties. The microblogging service has added new products to the core service, including Vine and Periscope, and is seeking ways to commercialise the service. Part of Twitter’s issue is that it needs to keep itself accessible for new users and introduce new features without isolating existing users. The business has seen the return of founder, Jack Dorsey, back into the Chief Executive Officer role, and this could see the business returning to its roots. We are seeing a number of subtle and less subtle changes across the business, such as Twitter exploring improvements to the Direct Messaging component of the service, perhaps with a view to competing with instant messaging services. We have also seen sponsored Tweets appearing in the service along with “whilst you were away” messages too.
The Christmas decorations may be going up, but Twitter is introducing a new feature that might make us think of St. Valentine’s Day instead. From today, Twitter has changed how the favorite Tweets system works. The company is replacing the old star favorites icon into a heart like icon, citing that the star icon could be confusing for new user and how we may like many things but only have a few favorites. Twitter’s blog goes on to explain that: “The heart … 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.” Periscope has been using the like heart icon for some time now, and on the back of this, Twitter and Vine are receiving the change today.
For those Android users with the official Twitter application, your device may not be showing the change immediately. However, the Favorites star icon is replaced with the like Heart as you use the application with no update required. If you tap the like icon, it switches to red color rather than the golden yellow of the old favorites icon; and yes it does make more sense to have a like icon.