Vanished “Stars”

With the flick of a switch, Twitter changed an entire social media convention that had arisen since the site opened: the favorite “star” has been replaced suddenly by a “heart.”

Left to right on Twitter below on a tweet:
Left to right on Twitter below a tweet: “Reply,” “Retweet,” “Heart” (which used to be a “Favorite” star), and a drop down menu for more.

As you know if you visit here regularly, my mother and my crime novelist uncle both died in October. So I’ve not been using Twitter much in recent weeks, of course. But last night, as I browsed it, I noticed quite a few people aren’t happy about the change.

And I agree. My biggest complaint about the change is it’s retroactive: all of my past “stars” are now suddenly “hearts?”

But wait, hang on a minute, not everything I’d favorited in the past was “favorited” because I as a reader “loved” it, or was giving someone a “pat on the back,” etc. Sometimes I did it merely as a “bookmark” for a tweet I wanted to “keep,” or which contained a link I wanted to read later.

From Twitter's email explaining the change.
From Twitter’s email explaining the change.

Context is important: a “favorite” wasn’t always about “praise.” Yet every old “favorite” on Twitter now looks like it was meant as “love.”

WordPress, as we know, has its “like” button. I take that to mean what it means: I “like” a post because I “like” a post, and I think most of you guys see it the same way.

Here, on (my) Twitter’s main page, what used to be “Favorites” are now ALL even redesignated as “Likes”:

All your past "Favorites" have morphed overnight to become "Likes" on Twitter now.
All your past “Favorites” have morphed overnight to become “Likes” on Twitter now.

Changes to a site’s presentation – colors, format, etc. – is one thing. And changes to actions going forward are acceptable. But a social media company messing around with my past meaning is not something I “heart” in the slightest.

I’m not deleting my Twitter account (for the moment). But I will be using Twitter less (for now at least), and much more merely as an extension of here….

….assuming WordPress doesn’t decide tomorrow suddenly to change all of my “likes” to something else, or to rewrite all of my posts. 😉

Have a good Thursday, wherever you are in the world. 🙂