Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Twitter Tests “Star” and “Like” Buttons to Replace “Favorite”

Been seeing the words “like” and “star” within tweets?

It was first reported last week by Next Web that Twitter had rolled out a split test of alternatives to the favorite button, with some profiles and some users already seeing tweets showing stars and likes next to the “reply” and “retweet” buttons in place of the word “Favorite” in the current format, which Twitter has been employing for a few years now to enable users to save tweets.

Twitter’s favorite button is the equivalent to the Facebook ‘Like’ button and it also could be used as a means of showing appreciation to a good tweet or a tweeted link or any tweet without replying or retweeting.

Now, it is finally confirmed by Twitter CEO Dick Costolo that the company has been testing a change in its user interface, replacing the Favorite button, which is said to be “heavyweight” with a much “lightweight” options such as “Star” or “Like.”

Costolo stated during the Internet Advertising Bureau’s Engage conference that the change of terminology is hoped to increase engagement with the feature.

“We’re testing some alternative terms for favourite. We feel that Favourite is a little bit too heavy weight so we’re testing some lighter weight terms. Engagement begets engagement. The lighter weight and more frictionless you make it to engage, the more engagement you’ll get,” Costolo said.

According to some SEO experts and webmasters, Google’s Gmail is already using the star feature, while the ‘Like’ button is, as what is well-known, now being heavily uses by Facebook, making both concepts not original.

However, like most online services, Twitter tends to run a number of tests at any given time and it is not guaranteed that a test will ever see the light of day across the site.

Nevertheless, if the word change does eventually go live, this could be used as another useful metric for brands, marketers and search engine optimization Australia experts in their attempt in measuring engagement with Twitter users.
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