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.
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.