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Twitter's change of "heart" has users in a tizzy

Twitter has just ditched the star icon that represents "favorite" tweets and replaced it with a heart that means "like." So far, users aren't hearting it one bit.

In a blog post Tuesday, Twitter product manager Akarshan Kumar wrote, "We are changing our star icon for favorites to a heart and we'll be calling them likes." He added that the company decided to swap star for heart after seeing how users "embraced hearts in a big way on Periscope," the live video streaming app owned by Twitter. The change also applies on Vine.

Twitterers expressed annoyance at noticing the change, with some even threatening to quit using Twitter all together. Most users seem to prefer having stars upon thars, as Dr. Seuss might say.

"Whoever thought it was a good idea to change favorites to likes should be fired from Twitter," one user wrote.

Not even everyone at Twitter is behind the switch:

Kumar argued in his post that using a heart to show you like something makes more sense than favorite-ing it with a star, because hearts are universal symbols and "not everything can be your favorite."

The star could be "confusing," he said, "especially to newcomers." Twitter has focused efforts lately on making the service easier to navigate, in order to draw in new users and fight stagnating growth. Its addition last month of "Moments" was seen as a move in this direction as well.

But the switch to "like" seems particularly odd right now, after Facebook -- arguably the rightful ruler of "liking" -- last month started testing a range of one-click emotional replies, specifically to counter the widespread feeling that "like" alone was insufficient. Facebook's new "Reactions" offer six ways to not-just-like a post, because, as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg put it, "Not every moment is a good moment."

Twitter avows "you can say a lot with a heart." And Twitter users sure have plenty to say about that.

  • Amanda Schupak

    Amanda Schupak is the science and technology editor at CBSNews.com