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Twitter may be ditching the ability to ‘like’ tweets

IF YOU’RE THE KIND of person to measure your self-worth in Twitter likes, then prepare for your self-esteem to hit rock bottom.

According to The Telegraph, Twitter CEO and founder Jack Dorsey said he was “not a fan of the heart-shaped button” and would like to get rid of it “soon.”

The report indicates that this is supposed to be part of a wider plan with which to improve the quality of debate on the platform, which feels like something of a low bar to clear. If you’ve spent any time at all on Twitter, you’ll know it’s hardly overflowing with the white heat of intellectual cut and thrust. In fact, since adopting GIFs and a hands-off approach to disciplining neo-nazis, the quality of debate is somewhere between a YouTube comments thread and late-night radio football phone-in. Without the charm.

Still, it shows a certain degree of indecision on Twitter’s part. ‘Likes’ have only existed since 2015, when they replaced the ability to \favourite’ tweets. Favouriting worked more like a standard bookmarking tool, but the switch to likes – with a little, animated heart popping up – made the whole thing a bit more emotive, and closer in tone to the touchy-feely world of Facebook.

Back in February, Twitter added the ability to bookmark tweets without the sense of public endorsement and judgement. So what use is the favourites button except as a kind of outdated popularity metric?

The Telegraph is the only site to report Dorsey’s comments first hand, and others who were at a briefing have poured some doubt on how likely it is to happen, at least in the short term.

Still, Twitter can’t do anything without upsetting some of its users, and the predictable uproar that followed the report resulted in the company responding directly, writing: “As we’ve been saying for a while, we are rethinking everything about the service to ensure we are incentivising healthy conversation, that includes the like button.

We are in the early stages of the work and have no plans to share right now,” the tweet added, which is reassuring for a company that has had 12 years to think about the problem.

Ironically, at the time of writing, this tweet has 157 likes. If that’s not a passive-aggressive vote of no confidence, we don’t know what is. µ

Further reading

Source : Inquirer

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Founder and Editor-in-Chief of 'Professional Hackers India'. Technology Evangelist, Security Analyst, Cyber Security Expert, PHP Developer and Part time hacker.

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