By this logic, any change any platform makes must be positive, and anybody who argues against it is pining for buggy whips. But sometimes changes aren’t positive. I’d have been perfectly happy if they’d added claps in addition to recommends, as it would give a fun and light way of showing appreciation to the author while not watering down the value of recommending a post. Instead, they put the two together and made both functions less valuable.
I’ve seen too many negative changes (on Google+ in particular) that were defended in the exact same way, often with the same Henry Ford and Steve Jobs examples. Change can be good, and yes, we do resist it more than we should, but change can also be bad. I think clapping could have been a good idea, but was poorly thought out, which is actually the most common complaint I’ve heard. The limit should have been lower, or the total claps per day limited, or the claps separated from recommends. Any of those would have been better. They aren’t terrible, but they are still poorly designed, and I’m not embarrassed to make that point.