For some time now, Twitter has hinted at discontinuing the widely used ‘like’ button from its platform. This was all speculation but the recent tweet from Twitter’s official account confirms this as the social media giant via a tweet which said that the twitter management was thinking about removing the ‘like’ button, however, the decision has not been finalized yet. The tweet is referenced to twitter’s plan for an overall redesign of the platform.
The move has been widely criticized by Twitter’s user base, however, the Twitter management cites mental health reservations is the reason behind this controversial change. According to Twitter, the ‘like’ option will be removed in order to increase and promote positive, healthy conversations on the social platform.
At the WIRED25 summit this month, Dorsey further expressed his thoughts on the like feature on how he thinks he was not happy with the ‘like button shaped like a heart” and felt that it was not healthy for the twitter user-base. Therefore, Twitter is pondering over a new ‘Bookmark’ feature which will is set to replace the ‘like feature’. The Bookmark tool lets users flag tweets to be added to their bookmark tab for future reading.
The response to this wasn’t great, the Twitter users were not happy with the change and suggested the website not to pursue this change. Many of them rightfully claimed that liking a tweet simply means that they agree with someone and show their support via a ‘like’.
Surprisingly, this isn’t the first time Dorsey has talked about tinkering with the Like button. Back in August, Dorsey said he was experimenting and redesigning some new features for Twitter, including the “like” button. Twitter has been working on the redesigning of its platform for a while now since it strives to become a socially healthy platform. The firm continues to face big concerns about the rise of hate speech. The social media giant takes violent tweets, cyberbullying and hate speeches very seriously, and prevents such tweets from being posted on the platform. While this is a commendable effort, Twitter has also been ultra-aggressive towards some of the tweets, at times overstepping the ‘freedom of speech’ barrier.
According to many psychology studies, ‘Like’ buttons can encourage addiction to the platforms as people seek external validation. The incentives encouraged by a like button are certainly being questioned by Twitter, but as the company stated today, the button will still stick around for now. Nothing can be said for sure as of right now, but a lot of changes are to be expected in the coming days.