The Problem With Twitter “Likes”


Twitter changing to from favorites to likes is good in a couple of ways, but bad in others.

The positive

  1. Favorite is a strong word for when you just meant “like”

  2. Sometimes you want to show support, but not save the item

The negative

  1. If someone tweets “Terrorists Kill 11 in Algeria”, and you think you want to read it later, it seems pretty strange to like it

Analysis and solution

Here’s what it comes down to, and what I predict will happen very shortly both on Twitter and on Facebook:

There will be three separate actions that you can perform.

  • Share

  • Like

  • Save

These are three distinct desires, and the current problem is that two of them (saving and liking) are being conflated into a single action (like).

So we’re left with having to save things we don’t want to, or like things we only wanted to save.

The solution is to separate them out, and that’s what will likely happen soon across most social media.


  1. Share would replace retweet.

  2. Image from unknown author. If you know who created it, please let me know so I can seek permission and/or give credit.

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