Yesterday, Twitter announced that it is considering killing its “like” feature in order to improve the quality of debate and user engagement across the platform. During a presentation at the WIRED25 summit, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey expressed a want to “incentivize healthy conversation” and felt that the “big like button with a heart on it” was impeding thoughtful public discussion. Dorsey stated that the company is still in the early stages of rethinking its service, but stressed a growing effort to create a healthier climate of interaction.
Here’s what members of the Denterlein digital team had to say about the possible change:
Paul Doyle, Vice President
“This latest move by Twitter is interesting, especially given the recent climate surrounding social media—Twitter and Facebook in particular. I've long felt that 'likes' in general have become somewhat meaningless, unconscious, and unhealthy actions by social media users across all the major platforms. Outside of the looming privacy and security issues, I believe this could be a step in the right direction for a few reasons ... 1) it may help reduce society's dependence on and flat out addition to social media 'acceptance'; 2) it could help spark healthier online/social debate as people are now forced to choose between thoughtful commentary or not commenting at all; and 3) it will push PR/comms to focus on measuring and digging into more meaningful social interactions between users and brands/organizations.”
Jayda Leder-Luis, Account Director
“What I find more interesting is Twitter’s thinking around introducing an editing function to tweets. This has been the bane of content creators’ existence for years! The inability to edit tweets has resulted in live-tweeting mishaps, poorly messaged posts, and in some case—mass confusion (remember ‘covfefe’?). Will Twitter remove an innocuous feature that all other social networks have without enabling this one?”
Merina Zeller, Account Executive
“How does removing the like button incentivize healthy conversation when Twitter users can still comment 'unhealthy' and harmful remarks? Having a like button is an important feature for a number of reasons, including the ability to acknowledge and/or appreciate a reply/post without engaging in conversation, bookmarking and tagging allows for later comment, and reaching out to new possible acquaintances. In order to incentivize healthy conversations, perhaps Twitter should ban abusive accounts and police the ongoing harassment. Although to some users feel the Like button may have some negative implications (i.e. shattering a person’s ego) it has become 'an extension of one's digital personal.' Without it, what is the point?”
Alex Boonstra, Account Coordinator
“By removing the heart-shaped icon, users will be forced to better express themselves through the platform’s other forms of dialogue: a retweet or a reply. A retweet still allows people to share content to their profile while having the option to add their own opinion; and a reply will allow them to comment on the content without sharing it to their profile or implying any sort of endorsement. While it may not be as convenient as a one-touch-approval button that tells the poster, 'I like this content,' it will create a way for users to more clearly express what they feel, agree with, disapprove of, and/or want to share with others.”
We’d love to hear what you think about Twitter’s efforts to improve its platform. Feel free to share your thoughts with us on social media!
Learn more about Denterlein’s social and digital services: denterlein.com/digital