Twitter users were initially not happy when the micro-blogging firm replaced the star with a heart and likes with favorites, but it appears that the change is working well for the company.
Twitter users were against it, but it worked
On Tuesday, Twitter SVP of product Kevin Weil, when speaking at the Open Mobile Summit in San Francisco, said the new heart icon is not stopping activity but rather is increasing it. The number of favorites at the end of the day has risen by 6% for existing users and by 9% for new users.
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On Nov. 3, the micro-blogging firm made the official change to hearts from stars and favorites with likes. Users did not accept the change wholeheartedly and started complaining, but that hasn’t seemed to create any significant difference in a manner a hardcore user would expect. The argument Twitter users are giving against its use also makes absolute sense. Getting people to think and act in a particular manner and then swapping out the meaning just like that is very difficult.
Weil said the company conducted research before making the change and found that engagement across the platform would go up with the proposed change. Twitter has hundreds of millions of monthly active users, and moving this up by 6% is huge, the executive said.
“We put a lot of thought into a change as fundamental as replacing star with heart. We tested it a bunch of different ways across a bunch of different countries. Trying different icons, different words,” Weil said.
Why is the heart a hit?
Citing reasons for the increased activity, Weil said it is easier to understand and that it does make sense. He said the heart is a universal symbol, and hence it is much more inclusive than a star.
Since its inception, Twitter has endured changes like the addition of conversation threading and hashtags. So it can be assumed that the hearts will stay there – at least until the service evolves again. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has made a commitment to boost Twitter’s stagnant user growth. He has undertaken some bold moves since coming to the position of full-time CEO, including the launch of Moments and some layoffs as well.