Science and Tech


Twitter Users Up In Arms After 'Favorites' Show Up In Feeds

Twitter is testing a feature on some users that shows favorited tweets from people they follow in their own timeline, the same way a retweet appears.
Posted at 10:53 PM, Aug 17, 2014

Surprise, surprise. Another social media experiment has users up in arms. This time Twitter is the culprit.

The social media giant is testing a feature on some users that shows favorited tweets from people they follow in their own timeline, the same way a retweet would appear.

And to no surprise, most Twitter users haven't been too fond of the new experiment.

The Next Web first broke the story and said the uproar occurred because retweets and favorites serve different purposes. 

"[People retweet] to share items that they think will interest others. Favorites have emerged as something else altogether — a way to acknowledge receiving a message, say thanks, save a link for reading later. ... That idea is turned on its head with this new experiment.

A writer for The Verge was not as kind, calling the move "downright blasphemous." He said the beauty of Favoriting was that it's usually not seen by more than two sets of eyes, giving it a "pseudo-private" feel.

In a sense, Twitter's new experiment seems to use its "Favorite" in the same way Facebook uses its "Like" button. Twitter has modeled its functions on Facebook before.

In March, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo caused a similar user panic when, during experiments, the social media site removed the retweet altogether — opting instead for a "share" button like its much larger competitor uses.

And Costolo has also suggested a simpler user platform is what he'd ideally like to create down the road for Twitter. In May, The New York Times reported he started experimenting with algorithms that were a lot like Facebook. 

No word yet on whether the favorite feature will be permanent, but the company says it's always experimenting.

This video contains images from Getty Images.