Twitter is “rethinking” whether it should keep its "like" button in an effort to encourage “healthy conversation,” but the social media giant has not made a final decision about the heart-shaped button’s future.
“As we’ve been saying for a while, we are rethinking everything about the service to ensure we are incentivizing healthy conversation, that includes the like button. We are in the early stages of the work and have no plans to share right now,” Twitter said in a statement Monday.
The statement came in response to a Telegraph report that Twitter was planning to remove the ability to “like” users’ tweets. Founder Jack Dorsey spoke critically of the button last week and said the company would be getting rid of it “soon,” according to the report.
Twitter had previously had a star icon signifying “favorites” but the heart-shaped “like” feature replaced it in 2015.
“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,” the company wrote in a blog post announcing the change in 2015.
“You might like a lot of things, but not everything can be your favorite,” the post said. “The heart, in contrast, is a universal symbol that resonates across languages, cultures, and time zones. The heart is more expressive, enabling you to convey a range of emotions and easily connect with people. And in our tests, we found that people loved it.”
In early 2018, Twitter introduced a new bookmarking function that allows users to privately save tweets. The like button, in contrast, had a positive connotation and “liked” tweets were public.