Twitter was given a collective heart-attack last week as the much-loved ‘favourite’ star was replaced with a heart. Following in the footsteps of Facebook, users can now ‘like’ a tweet in what appears to be a bid to add emotion to the interactions between users.
Ignoring the knee-jerk reactions, the criticisms of the change are valid. The term ‘like’ is such a loaded term, forcing the user to think twice about what they offer their ‘heart’ to. As much as people like to think that actions speak louder than words, the power of language is undeniable and extremely influential.
Gone are the days of being able to ‘favourite’ a stupid tweet, or ironically in fear that someone may think you agree with it and are supportive of that user’s stupidity. Avoiding offering a ‘heart’ to these tweets should now be known as a ‘heart bypass’.
The re-branding of the ‘favourite’ function feels like Twitter is trying to encroach on Facebook’s territory. Twitter is nothing like Facebook, it is a giant worldwide forum for people to debate, fall-out and make jokes. All within a 140 character limit. It’s primary function is to share information in a rapid and concise format, not to maintain your social and family network – offering ‘hearts’ to strangers on the internet is a little too close for comfort.
Lives will not be changed by the re-branding of the ‘favourite’ function on Twitter and the world will keep on spinning, but the #twitterheart has definitely got people talking.