Twitter ‘Heart’ To Reignite Loyalty?

In early November, Twitter revamped its user interface replacing “favoriting” and the star that went with it with “liking” and a new heart icon. The explanation behind the change was to make the social network easier to use and connect with. Twitter said that the heart is more universally recognized internationally and “You might like a lot of things, but not everything can be your favorite.”

Is this the solution to all of Twitter’s problems? Probably not. Users quickly started calling out the social network for the change and its failure to address its more serious issues, ranging from a lack of profit to the harassment of women. While the social network was once an Internet darling, it has fallen from grace as many now predict its demise.

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It’s hard to see how an icon would improve user experiences. Twitter’s open nature has been under attack as more intimate social networks that focus on personal friends, like Snapchat, have become popular with Gen Z, but many in that generation are choosing to stay away from social media as well. The “mass” ideology of Facebook and Twitter that made the social networks popular with Millennials and their thousands of “friends” isn’t as popular.

This update also comes on the heels of Facebook’s Reactions feature. Overall, social networks are working to improve communication with just the click of a button, but it’s yet to be seen if these features will help attract and keep users. Do you think these improvements help Twitter and its users or is this just a misguided attempt at hiding the social network’s shortcomings?

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3 Responses to Twitter ‘Heart’ To Reignite Loyalty?

  1. Aubrey Badger says:

    It’s hard to believe that changing an icon from a star to a heart could drastically change the interface and usability of a social network, and in my eyes, it’s honestly just a nuance and a nuisance that shows that Twitter is bored and lacks innovation. I think this may come from Jack Dorsey firing almost his entire board of directors, and therefore wanting the company wanting to go in a new direction. As for the Facebook update, I feel the same way. While I am not as active on social media now as I used to be, when I do go on, I expect the usability to be essentially the same and not come back to a new update or feature every two weeks. The recommendations feature or interested in feature are just too much in excess, in my opinion.

  2. Lauren Thompson says:

    Originally, I thought Twitter changed from “favorites” to “likes” in order to clarify the purpose of the feature, as “liking” a post is common across most social networks and most people understand what it means to “like” something on social media. I can totally see how this idea is evidence that Twitter is trying to mold itself into one of the more personal social networks.

    A really interesting blog post from Buffer (https://blog.bufferapp.com/twitter-hearts) points out how well hearts have worked for Periscope as a symbol of engagement. It’s interesting to me that Twitter has chosen to adopt features its more cutting-edge platform, and it shows me that they are trying to keep their brand relevant in the social media market.

  3. Taylor Nelson says:

    Personally, I think the new “like” heart could have helped Twitter… if one of the problems they were facing was recognition and brand loyalty. Twitter has no brand recognition issues; we all know what that little blue bird represents. Similarly, loyalty to their brand is not slipping because people don’t understand it. It’s falling because of the much more present issues that have collectively worked to bring the, to use your words, previously “darling” social media platform down in the eyes of its users.

    I think the shift to a heart/like button is exactly what you hint at in the end of this post: a misguided attempt to hide Twitter’s other shortcomings. They are trying to make it look like they are listening to their users, and perhaps they are. But they aren’t listening to what really matters… and that’s where their problem lies.

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