Twitter is reportedly considering removing the ‘Like’ tool to improve the quality of discussion on the network.
Founder Jack Dorsey, who also runs payment company Square, said at a Twitter event that he wasn’t a fan of the heart-shaped button. Furthermore, the Telegraph reports that Dorsey said he would get rid of the button “soon.”
Introduced in 2015 to replace the ‘Favourites’ feature — which allowed users to place a star on a tweet to bookmark it for later — the Like tool was ultimately a design change rather than a feature overhaul.
In March 2018, Twitter introduced a ‘Bookmarks’ feature to save tweets for later. This could point to a new system that will replace likes.
It’s worth noting that psychologists believe that social media tools such as Like buttons could contribute to addiction. Some people seek validation in the number of likes they get on a post.
However, Twitter’s motive to make the change may have little to do with the addiction potential of the Like button. Instead, it may be rooted in a desire to clean up its service.
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. We are in the early stages of the work and have no plans to share right now. https://t.co/k5uPe5j4CW
— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) October 29, 2018
The Twitter communications account (@TwitterComms) responded to the Telegraph report on Twitter, saying it’s rethinking the entire service. The goal, according to Twitter Comms, is to incentivize healthy conversations.
Despite the noble goal, several users responded to the tweet in outrage. They argued that changing the Like button would not affect debates and healthy conversation.
You realize that not all of Twitter is a stage for debate, right? Many of us artists appreciate and need likes to judge how we're doing with the communities we are a part of. Removing the like button would destroy a lot of indie artists focusing on Twitter.
— Zeshio (@Zeshio) October 29, 2018
Ultimately, it’s not clear when or if we’ll see a drastic change like this. However, if Dorsey has his way, we may see the change soon.