Twitter
Twitter hopes the change from stars to hearts will bring it new usersReuters

Twitter has abandoned the star icon used to "favourite" a tweet and opted instead for a heart, saying that it considers hearts to be a universal symbol and more expressive.

"We are changing our star icon for favourites to a heart and we'll be calling them likes," Twitter product manager Akarshan Kumar wrote in a blogpost.

"We want to make Twitter easier and more rewarding to use, and we know that at times the star could be confusing, especially to newcomers. You might like a lot of things, but not everything can be your favourite.

"The heart, in contrast, is a universal symbol that resonates across languages, cultures, and time zones. The heart is more expressive, enabling you to convey a range of emotions and easily connect with people."

By calling favourites "likes", Twitter appears to be trying make its platform closer in look and feel to Facebook. But the Jack Dorsey-led social network is still far behind the one established by Mark Zuckerberg.

The changes have already been rolled out for most users on the Twitter website and on the mobile app, as well as for Tweetdeck and Vine on Android. You'll also see them soon on Vine for iOS and Twitter for Mac.

Time will tell whether the hearts will be fruitful for Twitter, which is struggling to overcome financial losses, but the response from users to the change – which saw #TwitterHeart become a trending hashtag – was mostly negative

This is not the first time that Twitter has made major changes to its platform in an effort to bring in new users. The most recent change that the company adopted was the video approach that was brought in to rival Facebook.

The San Francisco-based company is struggling to grow in the world of social networks and messaging apps. Dorsey recently announced plans to lay off around 8% of its total workforce to maintain efficiency.