For a brief moment on Wednesday, Twitter users revolted when it appeared that the social media network could be changing one of the most fundamental parts of the social media network.
However, by late Wednesday, it appeared those fears were .unfounded.
On Wednesday afternoon, NBC News reported that in order to promote "healthier" conversations, Twitter was teasing a new feature that would stop showing the amount of "likes" and "retweets" a message receives.
The reported changes were a part of a prototype update that the social media service was showcasing at the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas. Numerous outlets — including this one — spread the news of test.
Twitter users were not happy, and shared their thoughts directly with the company's executives on the site.
Twitter removing number counts on retweets and likes is an asisine move. Eliminates a lot of the energy that makes this platform go, the meritocracy it is from a content perspective and compromises the ability to pick out the value of what’s important in the moment.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) March 13, 2019
Twitter removing Retweet and Like counts. They’ve officially realized the people they don’t like are getting all the traction and that mainstream media bought too many accounts.
Bad move, @jack. Retweets and Likes generally are ‘friendly.’
— Dave Rubin (@RubinReport) March 13, 2019
Later, NBC News issued a correction that said the prototype update would still count retweets and likes — but they would be hidden until the user tapped to reveal them.
Among the other changes being weighed by Twitter is an update that would allow users to swipe directly into the timeline and into the app's camera function. Users could then customize multimedia tweets with colored text and location-generated hashtags in the same screen.
It's unclear if and when the changes would be rolled out to the public.
The potential change to the "like" and "retweet" count comes months after Twitter CEO and founder Jack Dorsey hinted that Twitter might do away with the "like" button entirely . In October at an event for Wired magazine, Dorsey said he felt that the "like" button incentivized users to create tweets to garner more likes, instead of creating tweets to spark conversation.
Later, Twitter said that it was "rethinking everything about the service" to create more health conversations — including the "like button."