You can no longer "favourite" tweets on Twitter.
The social network has announced it killed the function - represented by a star button across Twitter - and replaced it with a new way to interact with tweets. Well, it's not really "new". Twitter simply adopted the "like" button, which has become the now-standard way of showing someone that you quite literally like what they had to share or post online.
But instead of using a thumbs up button, Twitter has implemented a heart button. It makes sense that the company would use hearts, considering its Periscope app lets users engage with others via hearts during live streams. Anyway, if you want to know more about why Twitter made this decision and how everything works, we've detailed all you need to know below.
What was a "favourite" on Twitter?
Favourites were represented by a star button. They were used to show appreciation for a tweet. You could see someone’s favourites by visiting their profile on the web (or mobile apps) and going to the Favourites tab (next to Followers tab). Your favourites were also visible on your profile - unless of course your tweets and account were switched to private under settings.
To mark a tweet as a favourite, you had to sign into Twitter, then find a tweet you wished to mark, and click or tap the star below it. The star would then turn from grey to gold to show you successfully favourited the tweet. Any tweet - whether in your feed, embedded elsewhere, or on a profile - could be marked as a favourite, letting the world/that person know you enjoyed it.
Also, to do unmark a favourite, all you had to do was click or tap the star button again, and then it would go back to grey to confirm the action.
What is a "like" on Twitter?
Likes are represented by a small heart button. Akin to favourties, they are used to show appreciation for a tweet. Also like favourites, you can see someone’s likes by visiting the Likes tab on your profile. Your likes are visible on your profile too, so long as your profile is set to public under settings. If a person's tweets are protected, any tweets of theirs that you liked won't appear in the Likes tab on your profile.
To like a tweet, make sure you are logged into Twitter, then click or tap the new heart button, and it will turn red, confirming that you've liked the tweet. You can like tweets in your feed, embedded elsewhere, on a user's profile page. To unlike a tweet, click or tap the heart once more, and then it will go from red to grey in order to confirm the action. Simples.
Why did Twitter replace favourites with likes?
Twitter made the following statement when it announced the service-wide change on 3 November: "We are changing our star icon for favorites to a heart and we’ll be calling them likes. 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."
The company further said a heart is a unviersal symbol that "resonates across languages, cultures, and time zones." It is also "more expressive," and in tests, Twitetr found that people loved it. Users also loved hearts on Periscope, so Twitter decided to adopt them.
What about Vine?
Twitter has another popular app, called Vine, which allows users to post and share quick video clips.
To complement the favourites change on Twitter, Vine will also get the new likes/hearts: "We’re delighted to bring them to Twitter and Vine, making them the common language for our global community," explained the social network in a blog post.
When will likes be available on Twitter and Vine?
Starting today, you’ll see heart buttons appear on Twitter.com and the iOS and Android apps. It will also go live today for Vine's website and Android app. You can expect to see them appear shortly on Vine for iOS and Twitter for Mac.