Twitter announced today that it’s dropping the star-shaped “favorite” button in favor of the heart-shaped “like” button. The move signals CEO Jack Dorsey’s latest effort to simplify Twitter and attract new users.
“We want to make Twitter easier and more rewarding to use, and we know that at times the star could be confusing, especially to newcomers,” Twitter product manager Akarshan Kumar wrote in a blog post. It will also create unity across its suite of apps: Periscope already uses the heart icon; Vine will also change to a heart today.
The heart does take out some of the (often welcome) ambiguity of the “fav,” which could mean anything from a genuine like to a “hate fav” to simply a nod for cleverness. On the other, it could also imbue new meaning into “liking” tweets, especially for users who primarily use the button as a way to bookmark tweets for later. There’s a certain flirtiness to a heart.
Overall, the change is a minor one, simply switching out one icon for another that Instagram has made more familiar. (And then made more confusing in their revamped private groups.) Twitter received positive feedback when they tested hearts earlier this summer. When AirBnb made the switch from start to a hearts, user engagement went up 30%.