Twitter added a heart button, thanks Twitter

So this week Twitter changed the little star indicating favourite to a heart and my twitter stream exploded! Dave Cormier’s Tweets have often inspired me write a blog post and as you can see below, he’s done so again.

Corm01 corm02

Dave’s reaction was mild compared with some in timeline, but he kept it clean.

I have to admit I also hated the shift to hearts.

But it also made me think. I used the old star/favourite for two things. The first, I realised after reflection, was a lazy way of acknowledging that I had seen a tweet, but couldn’t be bothered to respond, or wasn’t something I wanted to retweet.

The second reason was I collated the tweets using an IFTTT recipe (If this then that). Using an IFTTT each time I favourited a tweet it was automatically added to a Google spreadsheet in my G-Drive called twitter favourites. The intention was that I could access them later and use them, e.g if it was to generate an idea for a blog post or had interesting links or images etc.

Of course the behaviour I developed about using it as an lazy acknowledgement made the collation harder and I eventually stopped going into the spreadsheet looking at past tweets.

And then Twitter upset everyone in my timeline with their cheesy hearts, and I said I will not favourite anything again. That reminded me about the IFTTT recipe I had set up and I started thinking.

I like the idea of collating tweets that inspire me, have useful stuff in them or can be used for my work. So I set about setting up 4 new recipes

If I publish a new tweet (retweet with a comment / quote retweet) with the hashtag #faveblog it adds the tweet to a spreadsheet in a folder marked faveblog that I might want to use in writing for a blog later.

I did the same for:

  • #favebird – because I am a birdwatcher
  • #favedigital – for my work on digital at Jisc
  • #favelead – for my work on leadership

Twitter changing the stars to a heart made me rethink how I use Twitter, and reflect on how I engage with others. I’ll try not to just lazily favourite, I’ll try and engage, use twitter for conversations that are useful.

And I don’t want to use that damn heart button!


  1. I agree, I too have been using the star for lazily acknowledging that I either read/liked/acknowledged a tweet which got then mixed up with tweets I marked as resources etc. But I was also thinking about the freemium model here and that if I get a moderately good service for free (apart from the use of my data for whatever purpose they like), then can I really expect to have a say in what they do with the service? And, also, really, should we care that much?

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