Should Twitter Have a Like Button?

Should Twitter Have A Like Button?

This is the question that came to me last night. I’m pondering the possibilities and the implications. Facebook and Google both have their own type of like button, why doesn’t twitter? Throughout my experience with like buttons I’ve come to greatly appreciate them. Like buttons support the concept of community building.

How you ask?

Google recently started their +1 recommendation to give browsers more confidence in their search efforts. +1 is available to those who have a public Google profile. You can ‘like’ or in this case ‘recommend’ places or links to your connections. When I go onto Google and search a topic, if a connection has recommended one of the search results I see it! This is more of a search related liking and less of a social aspect but it brings a social aspect to web searching.

On Google’s website: http://www.google.com/+1/button/ they describe +1 as such : “Click +1 to publicly give something your stamp of approval. Your +1’s can help friends, contacts, and others on the web find the best stuff when they search.” The way I see it is helping others strengthens us all. It helps foster support and builds a sense of community.

Facebook’s like button serves more of a social, community aspect of liking. As a social media specialist, I love to post updates and links to interesting content on my facebook account. I experience a rush of excitement when someone likes one of my status updates or links I’ve shared. Liking a post says “I agree” or I appreciate what you’re saying and I’m publically stating it to our social world. Liking on facebook builds a positive connection with your friends and it encourages more socializing. People tell me they are more likely to share links and post updates if they receive likes because it makes them feel their efforts are appreciated. In other words: they like feeling popular.

Everyone likes to be liked. Liking someone’s link is an extension of liking that person. Facebook capitalized on this by allowing businesses to have a fan page or facebook page for businesses. The like button can be placed on external sites as well encouraging site visitors to ‘like’ them on facebook (this shows support for that business and it benefits facebook as ‘likers’ are using facebook more.) Another recent development is the connection of television advertising to internet browsing. For example: On a tv commercial Aquafina flavoured water advertises its product then encourages viewers to find and like them on facebook. Currently, there are 13,039 people who like Aquafina on their facebook page.  coincidence? I think not.

So this raises the question should twitter have a like button?

I’ve been discussing this topic and received mixed opinions. I’ve been asked what about retweeting? Isn’t that the same thing as liking? Does liking on twitter even fit what twitter is?@xMediaOutlet said “NOPE, retweet is much stronger action than like.” On the other side I’ve heard that it would make twitter even better. @ davemossop called it a “ magic switch.” I fall on the supporter side. I think a like button on twitter would even further foster a sense of community.

To answer a previously stated question: retweeting? Isn’t that the same thing as liking? No it is not the same. Retweeting, while it is a way of sharing a tweet you like its main focus is on information sharing. Liking does not share the link with others, it would tell the tweeter that you like what they are sharing. I believe these two functions could operate independently of one another and improve the already great twitter.

Who wouldn’t like to see “your tweet was liked by….”? 😀

Bottom line: I would like to see a like button for tweets in the future but is it necessary for twitter’s survival? No. It would be a neat perk I’d really like and I’m not alone on this! 😀


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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Quora
  2. Ryan
    Apr 12, 2011 @ 22:30:54

    I like the concept, but do you think it’d add to the noise?

    Reply

    • cironstone
      Apr 12, 2011 @ 23:03:00

      I don’t think it would add to the noise in a cluttered sense. I do think that it would encourage people to tweet more if they received likes. I know there is a favourite button but as I said to @xMediaOutlet I like a lot but I favour few. Do you think a like button would get a fair amount of usage?

      Reply

  3. Trackback: Quora
  4. auto-ru
    Apr 13, 2011 @ 20:06:01

    Thanks – where is article source?

    Reply

  5. cironstone
    Apr 14, 2011 @ 23:32:54

    You’re welcome! I’d gladly send you reference links if you give me your email 🙂

    Reply

  6. Trackback: Should twitter have a like button? - Quora
  7. Derek Beauchemin
    Jan 22, 2012 @ 15:00:39

    I just asked myself this same question, searched for other peoples’ responses on Google, and ended up here. You summed up my thoughts exactly.

    Facebook has left me spoiled with the Like button. Now I want to like everything (Twitter posts, forum posts, etc) to show the author that I agree, appreciate, or find interesting what they are saying. Not everything warrants a retweet or reply thought, that *does* add to the clutter.

    And you’re right, it’s always nice to see people “liking” your content and validating your thoughts.

    Reply

  8. kohrus (@kohrus)
    Oct 13, 2012 @ 00:48:14

    You can get a like button for twitter from http://kohrus.com 🙂

    Reply

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