Facebook and Twitter are switching things up. Over the past couple of weeks, both social media giants have made some pretty interesting tweaks to their platforms. Here’s a rundown of three of the most important changes you might not have noticed.
Twitter has recently unveiled its newest feature, Twitter Polls. Users will now be able to poll their followers with two-choice questions directly embedded into a tweet. “It’s a new way to engage with Twitter’s massive audience and understand exactly what people think,” Twitter product developer Todd Sherman writes. The poll will remain live for 24 hours, and votes will be completely anonymous. Finally, you can figure out what your followers really think about your new haircut.
Facebook has made some tweaks to its search function. In the past, search results would be delivered pre-divided into six categories: pages, people, events, groups, apps, or trending topics. Users would need to click through each of these individual tabs to get an overall picture of the search results. Now, the Facebook search will personalize results according to users’ interests and trending topics. Facebook search will now pull the most relevant content from each of the six tabs. This will allow users to see a quick overview of all the activity going on around a search term, without having to flip through separate tabs.
A star has fallen in the Twitter universe. No longer can users “favorite” a Tweet. Instead, the star “favorite” button has been replaced with a heart “like” button. Why the change? Twitter product manager Akarshan Kumar explains the switch is meant to clarify confusion common to new users. “The star could be confusing, especially to newcomers. You might like a lot of things, but not everything can be your favorite. The heart, in contrast, is a universal symbol that resonates across languages, cultures, and time zones. The heart is more expressive, enabling you to convey a range of emotions and easily connect with people.” The shift to “likes” puts Twitter’s terminology more in line with Facebook, the world’s largest social media platform.
If this is just too much change to handle, check out the Chrome extension FavForever. It allows users to partially restore the “favorite” feature to their accounts. But the extension will only work until Twitter fully transitions to the “heart” like. After that, the “favorite” will drift off into the digital ether of features-gone-by.
Steven Kelly is currently a student in the University Honors Program at The George Washington University. He is pursuing a degree in Communication and is interested in exploring how companies build personal relationships with their customers over the internet. He is active in several student theater groups at the University. Originally from Newton, Massachusetts, he is excited to be living in Washington and working at Veracity.