Twitter explains why it killed the fav

Last week, Twitter made a fundamental change that confused and enraged a lot of people: it killed the favourite and replaced it with a heart symbol and the word “like.”

For those who use Twitter, the favourite, or “fav” as it was loving called, represented something that made the social network unique. But Twitter was confident that it needed to change, and now the company has shed a little more light behind the decision and how much people are using hearts now.

Kevin Weil, who leads product development at Twitter, called switching from favs to hearts “a fantastic change for the platform” during the Open Mobile Summit on Tuesday in San Francisco. Weil said that Twitter tested different icons and words to replace the fav across different countries, and ended up landing on the heart because it appealed to the most people.

“What we found actually backed up our intuition, which is that the heart is a very universal symbol,” Weil explained. “It’s a much more inclusive symbol.”

Weil revealed that Twitter has already seen 6% more hearts used on tweets since switching from the fav. And for new users of Twitter, Weil said the company is 9% higher engagement with hearts than favs.

“You only have a few favourites,” he said. “There are only a few things that are your favourites, but you can like lots of things. And the word ‘like’ is a work that applies across cultures, across time zones. People just understand it better.”

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