October 23, 2012
Twitter Testing “Like” And “Star” In Place Of Favorites
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
As Twitter strikes out on its own, abandoning companies and apps it once partnered with, it´s likely the microblogger feels this is an appropriate time to try out a few new things, such as renaming those little stars users can assign to another´s Tweets.Twitter has always referred to these little stars as favorites, and users with a high-follower count collect these stars as a sign of approval, a way to look back on the Tweets their followers felt funny, poignant or just plain smart.
According to a report from the Next Web today, Twitter has begun to change up these stars a bit, as some users are seeing these golden icons referred to as either “like” or “star” on Twitter.com.
While the notion of marking a Tweet as a “favorite” isn´t anything new, Twitter did put the feature through a slight redesign in May, making these Favorites a little more easy to see when scanning through a Twitter user´s profile.
Though The Next Web was the first to post this story, they have yet to hear any official word from Twitter at the time this story was published. It´s also worth mentioning that App.net, Twitter´s largest and possibly only American competitor, has been using “stars” as the way to favorite one of their 256-character posts since the site went live earlier this year.
It´s likely Twitter is just trying out this feature on a few of its users to gauge response and see how “likes” and “stars” feel on their service.
Another interesting note: According to Mike Isaac with All Things D, Twitter wasn´t always sold on calling these digital celestial characters “favorites.”
In fact, according to sources familiar with Twitter´s Early Thinking, the favorite button almost became a “thanks” button.
As the story goes, Twitter knew they wanted this sort of Like, Up-Vote feature in their service but could never decide on what to name it. These early Twitterers were also considering naming this star “Like” or “Star,” but one of the more popular choices at the time was “thanks.”
As we all well know, Twitter eventually decided on Favorite, and now it appears as if they want to start fidgeting with the name once more.
Twitter has been making the tech headlines this year as they´ve been going through great pains to not only separate themselves from their partners, but become their very own company with their very own rules. What began as some changes to their API rules for developers has since turned into nixing some support for LinkedIn, Instagram, and Tumblr.
Recently, app developer Tapbots released a mac version of their popular iOS Twitter client, Tweetbot. The iOS app had already earned itself a diligent following and has often ranked very highly among Twitter clients in Apple´s App Store.
When Tweetbot for Mac was released to the Mac App Store, however, many were stunned by the $20 price tag.
As Mark Jardine writes on the Tapbots blog, his company had to price this app so high because they´ve been restricted by Twitter as to how many users they can take on. Whenever Tweetbot reaches this limit, they´ll no longer be able to add anymore users and, therefore, won´t be able to continue selling the app. By pricing the app higher than they may have wanted, Tapbots ensured they´d have the money upfront to continue improving the app in the coming years.