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Users Complain After Twitter Changes Its 'Favorite' Icon To A Heart

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

All right. You may or may not like what I'm about to tell you. Twitter has announced a change. The star button you used to favorite tweets is being replaced by a heart button. Clicking on the heart means you like a tweet. Some Twitter users do not like this change. Journalist Casey Newton from the tech website The Verge told us what he saw when he logged on yesterday.

CASEY NEWTON: Well, I saw a disaster, which is that all of the stars on Twitter had been replaced by hearts.

GREENE: There you have it. Newton explains that what made the favorite button special to him was that it could mean so many different things.

NEWTON: Some people used favorites to bookmark tweets, so they could find them later. Some people used them to express that they agreed with a tweet. And then one of my favorite uses of the favorite was what is sometimes called the hate fav, which is when somebody would insult you on Twitter; you would favorite it, hoping that they would see that you had favorited it. And that would confuse and upset them.

GREENE: And Newton says all of this sprung up organically.

NEWTON: The favorite was something that the community kind of figured out how to use. And then over time, it helped to make Twitter a really distinctive, original service. And with hearts, they made it a little bit more like everything else.

GREENE: But Twitter sees things differently. They say the heart is more expressive, enabling you to convey a range of emotions and easily connect with people. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.