Twitter Just Killed One Of Its Most Loved Features

Photo: Courtesy Twitter.
Twitter just made a big change today, and we're not quite sure how to feel about it we're completely torn up. Today, the 140-character social network laid to rest one of its most iconic features: the "Favorite" star. Say it isn't so, Twitter!

From now on, Twitter is abandoning the icon in favor of a heart. Now, "Favorites" will be called "Likes." Hm, that sure does sound like another social network we visit all too often.

What's Twitter's reasoning here? "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. You might like a lot of things, but not everything can be your favorite," product manager Akarshan Kumar wrote in a company blog post.

Since being reinstated as CEO early last month, Jack Dorsey has made several sweeping changes to help make Twitter more friendly to new users, as well as more profitable. These include the addition of Moments (which collects tweets and Vines around specific trending topics each day) and the company's decision to lay off 336 employees (8% of its workforce).

What's interesting about this latest move is that, among dedicated users, the fave star did have a clear and specific use that a heart-based "Like" will not be able to replicate. A "Favorite" didn't necessarily mean that you liked the tweet; it was just something you wanted to highlight or remember. Maybe you would have added a story on campus sexual assault to your "Favorites" list because it's a topic you care about, but it feels weird to "Like" it (which is exactly what Facebook has realized, and why it will soon offer more non-Like options).

Some users are, unsurprisingly, outraged at Twitter's decision.
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Others have pointed out the company's messed-up sense of priorities.

And others don't really care.
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It will be interesting to see how Twitter users embrace or shun the platform's new "Like" ability. In the meantime, we'll be hand-drawing stars on our favorite tweets. Fave star, you will live on in our hearts.