Microblogging site Twitter could be planning a revamp of the site, which could see key features be altered or removed entirely, and in the firing line is the platform’s ‘Like’ button.
A report from the Telegraph recently suggested that Twitter would be removing the famous button in an attempt to make conversations and interactions between users on the site more healthy and of a better quality.
Furthermore, it was also reported that company CEO, Jack Dorsey, is not a fan of the button and admitted that it could disappear altogether “soon.”
The Like button takes the shape of a heart and when clicked, it fills in red, and has been a permanent fixture of the site since 2015, when it was introduced to replace the Favourites button. This had been a feature of the site since its inception in 2006 and took the shape of a star. It was originally intended to be used as a bookmark to save tweets to read later, but became quickly used to indicate that a user ‘likes’ the tweet, without having to retweet it to their own account, or as a way of interacting with an account if the privacy settings prohibit retweeting.
Twitter itself has confirmed that it is in the process of reconsidering how the site works, including the function of some of its most iconic and central feature, but has also stated that it is early in the process and any changes such as the removal of the like button would not be coming in the near future.
It confirmed that it was considering making major changes in a tweet quoting the original Telegraph report:
As we've been saying for a while, we are rethinking everything about the service to ensure we are incentivizing healthy conversation, that includes the like button. We are in the early stages of the work and have no plans to share right now. https://t.co/k5uPe5j4CW
— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) October 29, 2018
It also highlighted that it was not in the position to share any of its plans now, but Twitter’s Brandon Borrmann hinted that it may be happening in the future. He stated that it is something that the company had been considering and that Dorsey had even mentioned the change in front of US Congress.
Short story on "like." We've been open that we're considering it. Jack even mentioned it in front of the US Congress. There's no timeline. It's not happening "soon." https://t.co/jXBmkudWYv
— Brandon (@bborrman) October 29, 2018
Twitter’s consideration of how the site could be changed is not a total surprise, as the company has been clear and open about the subject and has explained that it has concerns over the “healthiness” of conversations taking place on the site.
The company is not the only one with suggestions about how the platform should change moving forwards. American singer and rapper Kanye West has suggested that social media platforms should not display the number of followers an account has.
In the past, the site has been criticised for other issues and for failing to address these central problems, such as fake accounts, fake news and cyberbullying.