What does the ‘Favourite’ function mean on Twitter?

Recently, Sherry Nouraini created an intriguing poll regarding the ‘multiple personalities’ of favouriting a tweet on Twitter. From a personal viewpoint, I use it similarly to the ‘Like’ function on Twitter, although anecdotal evidence combined with this poll suggest a wide variety of different uses. However, the sample size for this previous study was quite small, so it would be nice to a) see what happens if more people vote, and b) to have a comparative data set to see if the same trends are detected (I suspect the two of us are associated with different ‘internet crowds’).

So yeah, hopefully this poll below will work, and get a decent enough input so we can begin to see how favouriting is used as a social tool. You can select 3 choices, and I’ll post the results after a week or so (or longer if more people are getting involved). Some of the options do cross-over to various degrees, but I figured this captures pretty much the whole range of possibilities.

Thanks for voting! Please spread the word too – the more data the better any trend can be explained! 🙂

14 thoughts on “What does the ‘Favourite’ function mean on Twitter?

  1. I often use it to bookmark something for when I have time to read it, also for when I agree with the tweet, or just because I like it.


  2. I quite often use it in the same way as retweet, in that I like to use it to flatter the tweeter, but I don’t necessarily want to clutter up my followers’ timeline. Like, if a hashtag I’m following has a long series of jokes or something, it would piss off all my followers if I retweeted every one I found funny. But yeah, I mostly like it as an archiving tool for tweets that I found interesting.


  3. As for me I use it a variety of ways, mostly as a bookmark though. I usually retweet things I agree with. I have a response from a celeb marked as a favorite, as it’s nice to look back over, it wasn’t worth retweeting though. Sometimes I might want to respond to a tweet but be busy at the time, so save it for later.


  4. I use it as a quick way to trigger an IFTTT action to save the link in the tweet to my Pinboard.in account, with a tag so I know I need to get back to it later (plus I subscribe to Pinboard’s archive feature, so the text from the linked page is scraped and archived in case the original site goes down/changes/etc). Makes it a lot easier to quickly note things for later reading without spending too much time during the first pass.


  5. I don’t favourite anything, because I found I wasn’t going back to read them. If I want to read something, I forward it to my inbox so that everything’s in one place.

    I had never thought of it being like a “like”, but that’s a great idea. The tweet later one is good too, to save bursts of tweets. Thanks!


    • Yep, I don’t really get the bookmarking idea either, despite it’s popularity! Seeing as how browsers can now handle hundred of tabs opening simultaneously, I just create a series of things to read/tweet during the day. It’s like a non-stop recycling library! The best of those simply go into Chrome bookmarks, simples.


  6. Pingback: Results show that you’re clean, and also something about Twitter functionality | Green tea and Velociraptors

  7. I never quite understood the value of ‘favorite-ing’ I can see the value of being able to view the ‘favorite’ posts later. I have preferred to be reTweeted, that my comment gets greater viewership.
    I have seen some Tweeters ‘favorite’ and reTweet. I am more so flattered when both are done.
    If someone is willing to favorite I would think they would also want to share it with their followers. I am a bit disappointed when they like my posts enough to ‘favorite’ but not to reTweet.

    I have not ‘favorite’d but have occasionally reTweeted. I should begin to do both, to reTweet to show appreciation for being followed and to ‘favorite’ to be able to find the most intriguing Tweets later.


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