Twitter to remove the like button?

By Staff writer | 06 Nov 2018 at 12:04hrs
THERE have been rumours that Twitter is about to remove the like button (the heart icon) and that has seen angry responses from Twitter fans.

Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, recently told the Telegraph that he wants to improve the level of discourse on Twitter.

Removing the feature does a few things, and not all of them are immediately in Twitter's favour which is what makes such a move so interesting.

Cutting off the like button blinds Twitter to a lot of potential data but the upsides should net the company more benefit in the long run, Forbes has reported.

The argument is that while retweets don't necessarily mean endorsement, it's hard not to see a heart as such a thing. The intent of the user is the key.

While it is as easy to hit retweet as it is to like a tweet, the intent is different. A user is unlikely to retweet something they disagree with without extra information because it would go against their beliefs and may cause those who follow them to think negatively.

Instead, the 'retweet with comment' element function becomes even more valuable to them. The extra information that people put into the comment is what Twitter needs to make better decisions and inform algorithms.

Forcing people to state pleasure or dissatisfaction does help stir debate which is precisely what Dorsey wants.

Partly because this will hopefully spur the right information and facts to get more light but also having a more deeply engaged user can't hurt either.

During its Q3 Earnings call, Dorsey reiterated that Twitter understands its problems and wants to fix them.

While banning users is often first thought of by many, Dorsey and co-workers want to raise the level of discourse; "We have every team around the company thinking about increasing the health of the public conversation...we're actually questioning some of the fundamentals and the incentives that the service is providing, and making sure that they are also encouraging and increasing healthy conversation on the service as well."

Dorsey has been open about being held to account, reducing echo chambers and making Twitter a better place.

If people delete their tweets after posting them because they don't get enough likes, that's just wasting everyone's time and Twitter resources. Twitter is more than a simple social network and taking some time to consider its role, value and future isn't a bad thing.

The world would be poorer without Twitter and there are no quick fixes with anything that has hundreds of millions of users.



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