Speaking at the Open Mobile Summit in San Francisco today, Twitter’s SVP of Product, Kevin Weil, shared with the crowd that the new hearts aren’t stopping activity.
In fact, the activity is increased:
The reason? According to Weil, “It’s easier to understand.” Makes sense. How many favorites could you really have at the end of the day? The increase is 6% for existing users and 9% for new users.
The official change to hearts, away from stars, and likes instead of favorites, happened on the 3rd. People have complained, but it doesn’t seem to have made much of a difference…in the way you might have expected as a hardcore user.
“We put a lot of thought into a change as fundamental as replacing star with heart. We tested it a bunch of different ways across a bunch of different countries. Trying different icons, different words.” Weil said.
“The heart is a universal symbol. It’s a much more inclusive symbol.” Weil continued.
Maybe people do like hearts more, after all. But the argument against them makes absolute sense. It’s very difficult to get people to think and act one way and then swap out the meaning just like that. Let’s just hope they don’t change it again…or put the icon up for bidding by advertisers.
Weil’s talk was streamed on Periscope, if you’d like to go relive it (or fast-forward or rewind, thanks to Periscope’s new web and Android functionality):