It’s time to say goodbye to Twitter stars and favs, and hello to hearts and “likes.” As of Tuesday morning, the Twitter “favorite” is no more, and the much less ambiguous “like” has replaced it.

Why? Well, in part, Twitter wants to be friendlier to new users. “At times the star could be confusing, especially to newcomers,” the site’s announcement of the switch explains. “You might like a lot of things, but not everything can be your favorite.”
The change also standardizes how users can acknowledge posts without replying them across Twitter, Vine, and Periscope, the livestreaming app developed by Twitter, which already had a very well-liked “heart” feature.
On Twitter at least, the new “like” comes with a bit of the animation that makes Periscope’s hearts so appealing: “liking” a Tweet by pressing on the grey heart below it on the browser version of the site results in a blink and you’ll miss it confetti party the heart turns read.
Hearts and likes are certainly easier to understand than the old “favorite” functionality, particularly to someone who wasn’t around when favorites were first introduced.
As The Wire (where, disclosure, I used to work) and Time both explained previously, the meaning of a “favorite” was versatile. It could range from quiet appreciation, to the “hate-fav,” to the “too-hot-to-tweet” fav, to any number of other meanings.
That multifaceted functionality of the “favorite” was a user-initiated evolution of a tool the site introduced as a simple way to bookmark tweets. It, in a way, developed its own language as users found more and more ways to employ – and interpret – the little stars.
And that’s exactly why some older users of the site are a little wary of losing the meanie meanings that a “fav” could carry.

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