Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Favourites – Twitter’s Like Button

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If you’re a seasoned Facebook user like me, you’ll be familiar with the concept of ‘liking’ something. A friend posts a witty status update, or announces some good news, and with one click, you can show your friend some appreciation by ‘liking’ it. Of course, you can go further by commenting on your friend’s status update, or, if permitted, you can share that update with your friends as well.

Twitter works in pretty much the same way. A tweet can be favourited, to show that you like it, or it can be ‘retweeted’ (shared). And you can reply to the tweet to comment. Most people are familiar with replies and retweets, but the favourites feature on Twitter seems to be under-utilised, which is a shame.

I’m guilty of this. Sometimes I’ll see a mildly amusing tweet, and I’ll hit the retweet button to share with my followers. Which is fine, in small doses. What you don’t want to be doing is constantly retweeting other peoples’ tweets – your followers are following you for a reason. If you like a tweet, you’re probably better flagging it as one of your favourites. That way, the tweet’s author knows that you appreciate it, but you’re not filling up your followers’ timelines with other peoples’ tweets.

From now on, I’ll only retweet if I want to share that tweet with my followers, because I think they will find it interesting. If a tweet makes me laugh, then I’ll make it one of my favourites.

For more, have a read of Anil Dash’s blog post from 2011 called All In Favor, and have a look at which attempts to do something with favourited tweets.

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