Twitter Tests Feature That Lets You Favorite Accounts

Favoriting tweets is all kids want to do these days, but now Twitter is testing a feature that lets you favorite (and unfavorite) accounts, too.

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  1. At the end of 2011, the star found under every tweet began seeing more action than Dennis Rodman did under a basket in 1997.

    What happened in December 2011? Twitter "started showing users favorites of their Tweets in the Connect tab," says Isaac Hepworth, who is immersed in unusual projects at the San Francisco-based company.

    Seeing that "favorites were more readily visible to the authors of Tweets," Hepworth wrote on Flickr alongside the below chart, "users started favoriting replies directed at them as a way of saying 'thanks' or ending a conversation gracefully, knowing that the author of the reply would see the favorite."
  2. Favoriting @-Replies on Twitter
  3. Over the last two years, favoriting has woven its way into the core fabric of Twitter.
  4. Some even wish the star-clicking could be a part of their real lives.
  5. Well, Twitter is toying with the next best thing. According to a screengrab shared by Yahoo employee Drew Olanoff, the newly public social media service is allowing some users to favorite and unfavorite actual Twitter profiles. 
  6. At first glance it seems preposterously unnecessary: Isn't that what the "Follow" button is for? 

    But the more I think about it, I see the stars. Allowing a user to showcase their favorite accounts -- if that is indeed the direction Twitter is taking -- on their own profile by favoriting other accounts is the #FollowFriday on steroids. These five profiles, favorited by me, have my stamp of approval, so maybe you ought to follow them, too.

    [In an email to me thirteen months ago, Twitter user @NickBegley suggested the site should add a featured called "Favorite Follows." Begley described it as such: "A place on your profile page that gives you the opportunity to highlight five (or so) accounts (people, brands, etc) that you follow. In essence, this is a #FF that can be changed, but lives on your profile page (would fit nicely above "Similar to You")."]

    Facebook allows fan pages to display five other brand pages in a box beneath its cover photo. For brands that have multiple fan pages or want to give some love to a sponsor's page, the box makes a whole lot of sense.
  7. About.com's Matthew Knell says the current setup allows a user to be immediately notified whenever a favorited account tweets.
  8. For what it's worth, @SamHouston, the owner of the account that Olanoff at one point favorited, says he was unaware of the actions taken by Olanoff. Houston's Notifications stream showed no evidence of Olanoff's star-pushing. 
  9. Twitter is known to experiment with features on a small set of users. In fact, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said earlier this year that tests could be run by any team inside Twitter without approval.
  10. We'll just have to wait to see if Mr. Costolo and Co. favorite this particular experiment, and what exactly Twitter intends to do with it. The company declined to comment.

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