For Its Latest Experiment, Twitter Is Showing Faves As Retweets

And nobody seems to like it.

For Its Latest Experiment, Twitter Is Showing Faves As Retweets
[Image: Flickr user Cristian Ştefănescu]

Twitter is always experimenting with new features. Sometimes those experiments end up becoming key cogs in its core service, like the ability to download apps directly from a tweet, or allowing users to embed tweets within tweets.


But sometimes, those experiments are a bit more perplexing; annoying, even. As pointed out by a few people yesterday and this morning, including Re/code‘s Peter Kafka, Twitter looks like it is testing a feature that makes favorites (faves, if you prefer) appear in other people’s timelines…

…just like a retweet.

Whenever these sort of tests occur, Twitter likes to point users to this blog post, which reminds users that it is always experimenting with new features. “You may see some features that your friend doesn’t see, or vice versa,” writes Twitter VP of engineering Alex Roetter. “This is all in service of making Twitter the best it can be.”

So: Why would Twitter suddenly want to start showing users what other people are faving? Some reports suggest that Twitter may be experimenting with a “Facebook-like algorithm,” which would surface “relevant” information instead of presenting tweets in a strictly chronological stream.

Context has never been one of Twitter’s strong points. But to be fair, it has added small changes to try and remedy its more confusing aspects, like when it started grouping together tweets in a conversation.

But does showcasing faves like retweets make Twitter better–the “best it can be”?


From the early looks of it, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who thinks so.

About the author

Chris is a staff writer at Fast Company, where he covers business and tech. He has also written for The Week, TIME, Men's Journal, The Atlantic, and more.