Twitter was first introduced on March 21, 2006. It was unlike any other form of social media, allowing its users to post messages, but only under 140 characters. Since then, it has become widely popular, and in 2012 Twitter’s 100 million users posted over 300 million tweets a day. Today, Twitter has 500 million users, and with this massive growth has come many modifications.
The most current update was released on Nov. 3. Twitter changed the star icon to a heart one. The star had been a part of Twitter’s original design and was used to indicate a “favorite.” On the official website, Twitter explained their change. “We want to make Twitter easier and more rewarding to use, and we know that at times the star could be confusing, especially to newcomers. You might like a lot of things, but not everything can be your favorite.”
Moreover, Twitter stated that the heart icon, unlike the star, acts as a universal symbol that everyone can relate to. “The heart…resonates across languages, cultures, and time zones. The heart is more expressive, enabling you to convey a range of emotions and easily connect with people.”
By noon, this change in layout became a trending topic, attracting almost 192,000 tweets. Students at Mt. Hebron were also responsive to the alterations and expressed a wide array of opinions.
Junior Maya Takashima was one of the many twitter users bothered by the changes, and said, “I want the [star icon] back. It was just an unnecessary change.”
“Twitter needs to change it back,” junior Lauren Siedlecki agreed.
Many others explained that the loss of the star icon decreased Twitter’s originality. Heart symbols are used in almost every other social media, including Facebook and Instagram. The star icon was considered to be an identifying trademark.
Other students did not mind the changes.
“[The heart icon] is just unusual to Twitter users,” said sophomore Sahil Sardesai, who admitted that though he did not exactly like the change, he does not mind it.
Senior Shelby Fichter added, “ I believe that the outcry against this update will die down as users get more used to it.”
Celebrities voiced their opinions regarding these revisions as well.
Social media celebrity, Grayson Dolan, tweeted, “I’m still calling these ‘likes’ favorites so you might as well change it back Twitter.”
The producer of ABC’s The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, Elan Gale tweeted, “I’m really angry that these little hearts have replaced little stars!!! –adults.”
Comedy Central humorously remarked, “Now would be a great time for Facebook to change ‘likes’ to ‘favorites’.”
Twitter has not just changed its design, but has also added a new aspect: Twitter Polls. Through this interactive feature, users are now able to ask their followers questions and provide two different answers. Either option may be selected, but only for 24 hours, after which the voting will close.
According to Twitter, “It’s a new way to engage with Twitter’s massive audience and understand exactly what people think. For those participating, it’s a very easy way to make your voice heard.”
“I like the new twitter polls,” Sardesai said. “They are often used excessively, but I like them.”
Regardless of the consensus on the new update, Twitter remains well “liked” not just among teenagers, but also among people of all ages. It will be interesting to see what the interface does next.