Twitter considering removing the like button in effort to kickstart dialogue

Twitter is reportedly considering the radical move of removing the like button from its service in an effort to improve the quality of dialogue and debate on the social network.

According to The Telegraph, CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey admitted at a Twitter event last week that he was not a fan of the like function and that the company would be removing it “soon”. The heart-shaped button was introduced in 2015, and replaced a star-shaped favourite button that performed a similar function.

It is possible that Twitter simply plans to replace the button again with a differently named but similar feature, but given the tone of the reported remarks, it seems more like the feature will be scrapped entirely. Twitter has recently tested adding status indicators and ice breakers aimed at spurring more discussions, as well as expanded profiles with question-and-answer forms.

Following the initial report of the plans, Twitter confirmed that “we are rethinking everything about the service to ensure we are incentivising health conversation, that includes the like button. We are in the early stages of the work and have no plans to share right now”.

Initial reaction from Twitter users was highly critical of the plans, with many questioning whether anyone who worked at Twitter actually made use of their own platform. The company recently announced its fourth consecutive quarter of profit, despite a 9m drop in monthly active users.