Are Twitter Favorites killing conversation?

I use Twitter Favorites a lot, it was one those classical features that had been there for a while and never really paid attention to it. Suddenly I started using it a year ago for several purposes with very nice results. Also, after some time I have realized that people use the Twitter Favorites in different ways:

  • To say “I liked your tweet” (Like the “like” button on Facebook).
  • As a “read later” button for tweets with links that you can’t read now.
  • To collect tweets around a topic for an eventual post or article or just to read them all together.
  • To end a conversation, instead of saying “agree” or “goodbye” or so, some people favorite a tweet to end the conversation.

This last reason is actually what made me write this post. I am seeing everyday people favoriting tweets instead of using replies, and also lately I am having more favorites than before, many more and mostly they are used to finish a conversation. I don’t know if it is because we are lazy or what, but I think we can have a little problem here. First of all, favoriting a tweet is like a new thing in communication as the Facebook “like” button is too. When a person send you “words” you and reply with a favorite, for some people I am sure this can be awkward to say the least, sometimes even rude. I think we have to get used to it.

Twitter Favorites - Pic by MediaBistro
Twitter Favorites – Pic by MediaBistro

Secondly, there are many users not tweeting from Twitter’s official apps which are the ones that better show the favorites. I use TweetBot mostly and here you don’t get a notification when a user favorite one of your tweets, so maybe you are waiting for a reply from one user who, instead of sending you “words”, favorited your tweet.

In my opinion, for statistical purposes, favorites add a very interesting information. Knowing how many favorites a tweet gets can be very interesting and if you analyze a hashtag, knowing also the tweets with the highest number of favorites is a great piece of info.

So maybe because I am from the “old school” I prefer always a reply over a favorite because it is real conversation, but I guess that we must get used to it. Favorites are a new way of communication, like it or not.

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3 thoughts on “Are Twitter Favorites killing conversation?

  1. Favorites are not killing conversation, we do, they are just transforming it into something more complex and simpler at the same time. It is like saying “hi!” from the distance.

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