When I first got on Twitter in 2009, most people used the "Favorite" star to bookmark links for later reading.
Twitter was still small then, and there wasn't much spam.
Favoriting tweets was easy!
These days, favoriting a tweet has gotten a lot more complicated. In fact, BuzzFeed called it "one of the most complex and cryptic forms of online communication."
Basically, the little yellow star is carrying a lot more significance these days. Yet I favorite tweets almost every day -- and have more than 8,600 favorites.
The question is, what makes people favorite a tweet?
I do it for 2 main reasons:
- Bookmark a useful tweet for later
- Show other tweeps that I'm listening
But these are pretty obvious reasons to favorite a tweet. Nothing earth-shattering there!
What about the not-so-obvious reasons people favorite a tweet?
Here are 10 reasons you probably haven't thought of for why people might be favoriting your tweets.
>> Click to Tweet <<
10 Not-So-Obvious Reasons Why People "Favorite" a Tweet
1. Auto-Fave (Hashtags)
Some people set up their Twitter accounts to auto-favorite tweets that contain certain hashtags.
Yes, it's possible to favorite a tweet without a human being clicking the star (I was disappointed when I learned that, too).
2. Follow Me Fave
Some people wait until they see you engaging on Twitter, and then they favorite your tweets.
They're hoping you'll check out their Twitter profile & follow back.
I've followed many people this way!
3. Hate Fave
Yes, the "hate fave" is alive & well.
Go ahead, Google it.
If someone is being obnoxious or rude, you can favorite their tweets instead of engaging with them.
It sends a passive-aggressive message that you see their tweets, but aren't going to dignify them with a response.
4. Introvert or Newbie Fave
For me, a perfect afternoon is spent chatting for hours online & off.
But not everyone is that way.
There are plenty of lovely, interesting newbies & introverts on Twitter who want to engage -- but they're not sure what to tweet.
Favoriting a tweet lets them engage with someone without actually typing any words.
It's a form of communication.
5. Content-Scraping Fave
Some people favorite a tweet when they're trying to scrape content from Twitter.
That's right, they steal your tweet to use later as their own original post. And I think it's flattering when someone likes my stuff enough to do that.
But others don't think it's very funny.
6. Private Fave
I recently saw a tweet that read, "Why do people fave my tweets and not retweet them?"
Lots of reasons!
I often see content I'd like to read privately, but that doesn't mean I think it would be useful to my 123k Twitter followers.
This also applies to people who have to abide by strict tweeting rules at work. They might opt to favorite a tweet instead of retweeting it.
Keep this in mind next time someone clicks Favorite but not Retweet.
7. Twitter Crush Fave
Some people favorite a tweet when they have a Twitter crush.
It might sound silly, but the Twitter crush fave is quite popular.
Lots of people use it to get noticed. And it can be a fun way to make a great first impression.
8. Can't-Reply-Right-Now Fave
I use Twitter on my Nexus during the day. I often see tweets I want to reply to, but I can't reply at that moment because I'm busy.
If I don't fave those tweets, they get buried in my stream -- and I might forget to reply.
Favoriting a tweet lets me store it & reply when I have time. It also lets people know that I saw their tweet & I'm paying attention.
>> Click to Tweet <<
9. Friend Fave
Friends favorite friends' tweets -- regardless of the content!
During a Twitter convo, friends often fave tweets just to favorite them.
It's a way to add a little more love to any conversation on Twitter.
10. No-Reason-At-All Fave
Finally, someone might favorite your tweet for no reason whatsoever.
And I think lots of tweets get favorited accidentally!
There's no method to this madness. Some people open Twitter, fave a few tweets & log out.
Like me, they might just like watching that yellow star explode! ;)
The psychology behind Twitter favorites & how we use them fascinates me!
And I'm not the only one.
Last year, researchers asked 290 active Twitter users why they favorite tweets. You can read the answers here in The Washington Post.
What about you? Is there a not-so-obvious reason why you favorite tweets?