When Did Like Become Love?

What happened? 2016 is turning into the year of the “heart”.

Heart = Like?

Let’s see what your favorite social networks are using for positive feedback:

  • Twitter (heart icon),
  • Medium (heart icon),
  • Facebook (thumbs up icon and “like”)
  • LinkedIn (“like”)
  • Pinterest (heart icon with “like”)
  • Quora (“upvote”)
  • Yelp (light bulb icon “useful”, smiley face icon “funny”, snowflake icon “cool”)
  • Instagram (heart icon)

I get it. An A/B test was conducted with different icons to indicate “like” and the “heart” icon registered a higher interaction rate.


Is it because a “heart” is more sincere? Is it a gender thing? Is it a novelty?

I Like New York?
Look at the above image. What do you think when you see this? Of course you are thinking “I Love New York”.

Let’s consult Webster:


verb \ˈlīk\

Simple Definition of like

  • : to enjoy (something) : to get pleasure from (something)
  • : to regard (something) in a favorable way
  • : to feel affection for (someone) : to enjoy being with (someone)


noun \ˈləv\

Simple Definition of love

  • : a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person
  • : attraction that includes sexual desire : the strong affection felt by people who have a romantic relationship
  • : a person you love in a romantic way

Let’s call a spade a spade and a heart a heart.

C’mon interweb. If you are going to use a heart icon, then go ahead and label it love. Otherwise, I suggest we stick with the thumbs up or some better representation of like.

Prediction. The popularity of the “heart” for “like” will wane and subsequent A/B testing will deliver us a new like icon to work with.

Too much? Just me? OK, you don’t have to like/love this post.

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