Today I have something of a gripe to get off my chest about Twitter’s use of ‘favourites’ today – a personal bugbear and a Facebook rip-off feature that I hope they will kill off in the near future.
Share and share alike
Twitter’s retweet concept was a brilliant one. Create a platform where sharing can instantly become viral and has the capacity to reach audiences beyond your immediate connection – this was revolutionary and completely blew the competition out of the water from a business perspective.
With over 400 million tweets sent every day worldwide, it is easy for a single message to become lost amongst all the rest. Yet, with retweets, the chances of the right audience seeing that message were greatly increased with each share.
Then Twitter added favourites – a function that ran completely counter to the principles of the retweet.
Not one of my favourite things
Favourites offer no benefit as a sharing tool as they do not increase the reach of a post. Sure they provide feedback from followers as an endorsement that what you are posting is of value to them, but retweets already fulfil that function well.
Furthermore, Twitter announced in late 2014 that it would start showing tweets favourited by people you follow and popular tweets from people you don’t follow, which met with an immediate backlash from the community. This only serves to further clutter the user’s wall and dilute the opportunity to get your message out there.
I will say that they function well as a bookmarking tool for those tweets that you want to come back to or investigate further at a later time, particularly with 60% of users accessing Twitter through mobile devices. However, surely this could be implemented in a more effective manner.
The key to this is avoiding dead-end content. Favourites are like linking to a page with nothing on it – it doesn’t lead anywhere that will be of any value to anyone.
Perhaps this is just a personal pet hate, or do you feel too that favourites need to be retired? Leave your comments below…