Receiving Likes on social media may be on the verge of extinction, at least for one social media platform. Just like Facebook and Instagram, one of the big aspects involved with Twitter is the “Like” option. The simple tap or click on the heart icon on someone’s tweet allows a user to register their approval of the tweet. Now there is speculation going around that the social media company may be doing away with that particular aspect of their experience.
A report via USA Today on Monday (Oct. 29) cites Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey as saying the company is considering the idea of taking away the Like. Dorsey suggested it would be a way of “incentivizing healthy conversation.” Dorsey also said they are in the “early stages of the work” and don’t have any plans they can share at the moment.
The main goal for Twitter going forward seems to be encouraging “healthy conversation.” Dorsey appeared at an event for Wired magazine earlier in October. During that event, he said they are contemplating whether it’s the best strategy to have people more interested in gaining Likes and followers on Twitter versus having those healthy conversations.
Part of the reason Twitter may be rethinking their strategies relates to the issue of manipulation happening on their platform. Just like Facebook has dealt with, Twitter has been dealing with fake accounts during and after the latest presidential election. Much of this also involves Russian influence which was a major story in the news with regards to social media.
As mentioned, Facebook and Instagram also use “Like” as a way for users to show their appreciation or approval of a social media post on the site or app. On Instagram, users can double tap a post or click the “heart” icon to register their like. On Facebook, it is done by clicking a “thumbs up” icon. However, Facebook also unveiled a set of other options with the “Like” on their platform to show different emotions towards a post. These include laughter, sadness, anger, or even a “thumbs down” towards a post.
While Dorsey’s mention of doing away with the heart “Like” icon has been making the rounds online, it doesn’t appear to be something that will be happening in the near future. One of the Twitter Communications staffers, Brandon Borrman, mentioned in a tweet on Monday that “There’s no timeline. It’s not happening soon.”