Maniacs! Not just me, all of us. All of this hullabaloo just for one word – Like!
No, Facebook isn’t going to remove the Like option, though sometimes I wish they did. “Like” nowadays doesn’t mean just “like”. It can mean a lot of things – Hmmm, LOL, Whatever, Sigh, Good, WOW, Amazing…the list goes on. But mostly, they are used as a means of saying – “End of Discussion”. Especially by the person losing the argument.
So, in this Like-crazy world where everyone measures everything by likes, when I heard that Twitter is coming up with “Likes”, I felt scandalised. My favourite Social Network was becoming a copycat! In a recent article in The Next Web, they said that a few Twitter accounts were seeing the option of “Like” instead of the usual “Favourite” option. Now, whether that was a Halloween joke or harsh reality, we will find out soon.
But the thought of how everyone in the online space has started worshipping “likes” is what brought me here in the first place.
LinkedIn has become an exact copy of Facebook with Birthday Reminders being the only thing left out. And now when Twitter creeps in the concept of “Like”, I doubt whether the world is actually going to end. Ranging from who’s got a better looking pet cat to who’s duck face is better, everything is judged by “Likes”. Why, even political campaigns are heavily judged by it. Or maybe a time will come when the Presidents are selected based on whose page has the maximum number of likes. Or am I taking it too far?
So, why exactly is Twitter doing this? It’s not exactly that they are changing some feature. Just the name. But even then, what’s the need? Is it to measure how many of a brand’s tweets have been “liked”? So that brands can say they have a million likes in Facebook and a kazillion likes in Twitter? Yes, that doesn’t make sense but neither does what Twitter’s doing now. Just see, the very developers who raised Twitter through third-party apps have now been stabbed in the back with Twitter’s closed API.
I know that Twitter too wants to be a multi-billion dollar company, but am not sure they want to achieve it by pissing off the large number of Twitterers. The issue is not just about one word here. The issue is “Why that particular word?” I doubt this post would have even been necessary had Twitter chosen to replace Favorite with Awesome, Fantastic or such words. The problem is not that people are fed up with the concept of likes. In fact, it still remains one of the biggest ego-satisfier after Klout score! It’s the whole aspect of restricting innovation in a way. One person does it and it clicks, so we all do it!
Now, off to the real reason why I totally detest the coming of likes in Twitter. Twitter is a platform which obviously has more percentage of loyal audience than Facebook. Everyone’s on Facebook because they should be. People are on Twitter because they want to be. I “like” something on Facebook even if it is remotely acceptable to me. On the other hand, I favourite a tweet in Twitter only when I seriously see some value in it. Psychologically this change will come if Twitter brings in likes. The percentage of things we like is definitely more than the percentage of things we Favourite.
And when this happens, the whole concept of Like/Favourite will get degraded. It’ll lose its value.
Just as with all changes, if Twitter goes forward with this, there will be a huge hue and cry. And like all hues and cries, it’ll eventually die down. They’ll get bored with shouting and then start ignoring it. But when you see it from a larger perspective, Twitter loses its value amongst the audience. A change that doesn’t add much value to anything and at the same time reflects more or less a copy-cat behaviour, isn’t unique at all.
It’s just going to be one of those insignificant copycat events, unless Twitter has some serious reason rolled up their sleeves to justify this. And I’ll have my eyes open to see what exactly that reason would be.