Cover image for An observation about UX (from a noob) - Twitter likes vs the rest

An observation about UX (from a noob) - Twitter likes vs the rest

ronsoak profile image ronsoak Updated on ・2 min read

Had an interesting conversation with my fiancé recently about how we use likes on social media.

It arose through the revelation that I don’t ‘like’ things on twitter, as opposed to him who likes many of the tweets he sees.

I explained that I only ‘heart’ things on twitter that I intend to go back to later, and if I like it i’ll retweet it. Effectively I use the like function as bookmark feature.

(Yes I know Twitter now has a bookmark feature)

“But it’s a like.” He replied.
“You like things on Facebook and Instagram that you don’t intend to go back to later.” He followed up with.

He was right, so why was Twitter different?

the context of which the feature is presented is different from the rest

When you open up your twitter account, front and center are four key tabs. Tweets, Tweets & replies, Media, and Likes.

One of the first things the app shows you, is how to instantly access a list of things you have liked, which to me, immediately changed the setting of the like.

In Facebook and Instagram, I like something for the person who posted it, it’s my way of saying ‘good job’ and I’m not aware of a way to access a list of posts i’ve liked in Facebook and while this feature now exists in Instagram, it’s hidden away in the settings.

So advertising upfront that you have the ability to go back to everything you’ve liked changed for me how I treated it.

When I can like anything on facebook and know that the likes just disappear into the ether there is no accountability. Knowing that the likes are going into a list makes me feel like I should be smart with them, or scarce with them.

I don’t want to have to rely on that list to find a specific tweet I liked three weeks ago only to have to wade through hundreds of tweets before I found it.

Or you can have your likes be public, I don’t want to have to think twice about liking a tweet, probably of Chris Hemsworth topless, that I might not want people to see that i’ve liked.

I know I’m the minority here, and have clearly over thought this specific functionality but it begs the question why is it like this?

Aren’t these features wrapped in multiple layers of UX and customer journeys with the intent of making me use them more? And yet it’s had the opposite effect on me.

Just something weird my brain was mulling over. I work in IT and so i’m exposed to these concepts but of course have know idea what i’m on about. I just know enough to be dangerous.

Your thoughts?

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ronsoak profile



Data Analysis Team Lead at Xero in Wellington NZ. Dev tag moderator and passionate about space! All views expressed here are my own.


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I never noticed there's a list of things I liked on Twitter. Perhaps this is because I mainly use Tweetdeck that simply does not have it. On the other hand, it shows (by default) list of tweets that people I follow liked, so it works more like Facebook likes (= increases reach).

This is also interesting, because Tweetdeck was acquired by Twitter years ago.


I know Twitter now has a bookmark feature

It does? I can't see one on the website. I've found a video of someone showing it on the app, hidden under one of the sharing icons. I think you can disregard this feature though, because on one interface it's hidden and on the other it's missing completely.