What does it mean when someone favourites your tweet?


Now, I’m telling you this despite the fact that I got very excited one day as I reached for my iPhone exactly as a notification popped up that Suzanne Vega had favourited a tweet of mine. That’s different. That doesn’t factor into any of the following whatsoever.

What’s in a Twitter fave? It’s a gesture – just the click of a button – that can mean any number of things given the context. We’ve developed an entire ecosystem of Twitter faves over the past few years. There’s the hate-fave. The flirt-fave. The fist-bump fave.

Now, researchers have gone one step further and developed what purports to be a scientific taxonomy of favoriting behavior, based on survey responses from 606 active Twitter users. The biggest surprise? Over a third of Twitter users said they weren’t even aware the favoriting function existed. Among the rest, only 3/4ths of users had ever favorited a tweet.
The researchers asked the remaining 290 users open-ended questions about why they favorited things. They coded the responses into a number of categories, and the taxonomy above was born.

The most popular reason for faving something? People simply liked the tweet. For many people it’s analogous to Facebook’s “like” button. Not surprisingly, bookmarking things for later reading or recall was the second most popular reason.
Others used it as a conversational feature, to let someone else know they had seen their tweet, or to signal agreement. 25 people favorited tweets that made them feel special. Six people favorited tweets but had literally no idea why they did so.

What Does it Mean When Someone Favourites Your Tweet? Here are 25 possible answers – The Washington Post (4 June 2014)

Actually… I like the sound of that ‘flirt-fave’.

Via Katharine D’Souza

 Brevity. Soul. Wit.

This made me laugh.

There’s no magical length for a Tweet, but a recent report by Buddy Media revealed that Tweets shorter than 100 characters get a 17% higher engagement rate.


The ideal length of a Facebook post is less than 40 characters

Both of these are from an article on Buffer.com. (Buffer is a service that lets you write tweets in advance and it posts them to a schedule you specifiy. I’ve started using it on Fridays for when my personal blog, Self Distract, goes up. I’ll write the first tweet about it live but I’re recently used Buffer for the other times I mention it, specifically around lunchtime and early evening on Fridays – because otherwise I often forget.)

I have no reason to doubt or suspect or really in any meaningful or statistical way do anything but completely believe this information about writing short tweets and updates.

I am just humanly incapable of ever doing it. I see writing as our getting to talk, me and you, not as some trigger to get a reaction from you. Let alone to get 17% more of a reaction.

Plus I wish places would stop calling things scientific when they mean statistical.

But on the one hand, maybe you care about this detail more than I do, in which case I want you to see the full feature on Buffer.com. And on the other hand, maybe you like my Brevity – Soul – Wit headline as much as do. In which case I want you to see the Royal Shakespeare Company mug that has it written on.