Why it matters: If you’re a Twitter fan, you probably use the heart-shaped “Like” button often. It’s a good way of showing your appreciation for a tweet without having to respond with a reply or retweet, but the option could be removed at some point in the future.
The news comes from a Telegraph report in which CEO Jack Dorsey is quoted as saying he “wasn’t a fan of the heart-shaped button.” At a private Twitter event last week, the microblogging site’s boss said he “would be getting rid of it soon.”
The main reason behind the removal of the hearts, which replaced the star buttons in 2015, is to encourage quality debate on the site. “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 incentivize healthy conversation?"
The move hasn’t gone down well with most Twitter users, many of whom say that, without a Like option, they probably won’t engage with most Tweets.
The Twitter Communications team has responded to the report, acknowledging that it is “rethinking everything about the service to ensure we are incentivizing healthy conversation,” and that includes the Like button. But it does say that work is in the early stages.
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) 29 October 2018
Confirming that it would be a while before the Like button disappears was Twitter VP Brandon Borrman, who wrote: “There’s no timeline. It’s not happening “soon.””
Short story on "like." We've been open that we're considering it. Jack even mentioned it in front of the US Congress. There's no timeline. It's not happening "soon." https://t.co/jXBmkudWYv— Brandon Borrman (@bborrman) 29 October 2018
They might not be disappearing anytime soon, but unless Twitter listens to public opinion, it appears that the hearts will eventually go the same way as Vine.
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