The fact that Facebook has managed to change the meaning and context of the English word ‘Like’ must be a bitter pill to swallow for English purists. Now it seems Twitter is also looking to test a ‘Like’ feature on the micro-blogging service. Although there is no official confirmation regarding the feature travelling towards an official release, it seems to be something Twitter is seriously considering.
The problem with the ‘Like’ button on Facebook is that it forces you to express only one kind of sentiment towards something which seems horrible sometimes. An example would be someone posting about a serious situation like accident or something and people ‘liking’ it because on Facebook, there is no other way to show an emotion other than like. The feature is broken for sure and it is slowly creeping into global usage because of Facebook’s reach across the globe. People have been a demanding a ‘dislike’ button since ages but I don’t think that it will ever arrive.
Twitter has its own issue with the ‘Favorite’ button. Favorite means one thing – you like what the post is about. However, there are lot of people on Twitter who use it for a more practical purpose – save to read later. When I started using Twitter, I had no idea why the ‘favorite’ button existed until I slowly gravitated towards using it to read those tweets later like ‘starring in Gmail’. However, most people don’t know that and when you favorite their post, their understanding of the situation is completely different leading to misconceptions in extreme cases.
According to the images of Twitter’s Like Button test, it seems the company is looking at ways to replace the Favorite button with Like. This makes things worse since this is exactly the same issue as Facebook’s Like.
What should Twitter do?
I think Twitter should acknowledge user feedback about the use of the ‘favorite’ button and transform it into a read-it-later function, something like Pocket (detailed post on Pocket coming soon). The Like function will not do much for Twitter as it is universally accepted that ‘retweets’ are the best ways to count metrics on tweets.
What are your thoughts on this? Share them with us.