Why Twitter is Thinking About Killing 'Like' Button?

Published October 30th, 2018 - 11:27 GMT
(Shutterstock/ File Photo)
(Shutterstock/ File Photo)

Twitter could soon kill off the 'Like' button.

The social media giant said it's in the 'early stages' of considering whether or not to remove the like button, which appears as a heart icon, as part of an overall redesign of the platform.

It comes after CEO Jack Dorsey reportedly said at an event last week that he would get rid of the heart-shaped button 'soon,' according to the Telegraph.

But Twitter said the change may not be coming as soon as users think.

'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,' Twitter's communications unit said in a tweet.

'We are in the early stages of the work and have no plans to share right now.'

At the WIRED25 summit this month, Dorsey further detailed his thoughts on the like feature, saying he was unhappy with the 'big like button with the heart on it.'

Dorsey stopped short of saying the firm would remove the feature, however.

Some have noted that Twitter may get rid of the like button and, in its place, emphasize the 'Bookmark' feature rolled out earlier this year.

The Bookmark tool lets users flag tweets to be added to their bookmark tab for future reading.

A user's list of bookmarked tweets can be viewed by anyone.

As is typical, Twitter users weren't happy about the suggestion of removing the site's Like button.

'Twitter, you ok?,' user Matt Navarra wrote on the site. 'This would be a weird thing to do...'

User Max Kennerly said: 'Eliminating the "like button" will absolutely, certainly, 100% make the troll problem here way worse.

'The most common interaction here is the "like," and it's friendly and affirming. In new Twitter, the most common interaction will be a hostile reply. Who the hell wants that?'

Twitter has gradually introduced new features to its platform over the last several months, while phasing out others, as it works to improve the 'health' of its platform.

The firm continues to face big concerns around the proliferation of hate speech, harassment and other toxic user behavior on the site.

It has taken several steps to crackdown on hate speech and prevent users who violate its terms of use from attempting to circumvent its suspension policies by creating new accounts.

Dorsey previously announced Twitter was partnering with outside firms to assess the 'health of public conversation' on the site.

'We have witnessed abuse, harassment, troll armies, manipulation through bots and human-coordination, misinformation campaigns, and increasingly divisive echo chambers,' Dorsey said in March.

'We aren't proud of how people have taken advantage of our service, or our inability to address it fast enough.

'We've focused most of our efforts on removing content against our terms, instead of building a systemic framework to help encourage more healthy debate, conversations and critical thinking. This is the approach we now need,' he continued.

Since then, Dorsey has asserted that he may revamp the way that people follow other accounts on the platform.

For example, users might follow broader topics, instead of individual accounts, as a way to prevent them from being in an 'echo chamber', Dorsey told BuzzFeed News.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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