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Twitter star suffers a total eclipse of the heart in icon change

Twitter has caused an online uproar after replacing its favourites icon with hearts.

Announcing the change on a blog, the company said it was ditching the stars for heart-shaped "like" buttons to make the site "easier and more rewarding to use".

However the swap has proved controversial, with users branding it "outrageous" and "lame" and "the final nail in Twitter's coffin".

Piers Morgan voiced his opposition with the simple tweet: "No @twitter, NO" accompanied by a broken heart, crying face and thumbs down emoticons.

Kevin Mercuri wrote: "What are these Hearts?? Does Twitter think I am a 12 year old?" while a user known as Samantha declared: "I'm never using Twitter Again".

The micro-blogging site said that hearts had become "the common language for our global community", following their popularity on sites such as Periscope, which allows users to live-stream footage.

It said: "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. And in our tests, we found that people loved it."

But many users felt the change had made Twitter less unique, with the hashtag #BringBacktheStar gaining traction rapidly.

Samantha Gordon said: "Twitter, why conform to Facebook and make the favorite a like?? #bringbackthestar".

And DharmaVirodhi Aditya tweeted: "#BringBackTheStar twitter, goddamit. if i want a heart i'll go to instagram you birdbrains".

Nick Tremaroli was unfazed by the change, writing: "People are actually getting worked up about this Twitter change? Who cares? It's a website. It's a button. It's not important."

A minority seemed to appreciate the soft touch, saying that it made them want to use the button more frequently.

The site has struggled to keep up with social media competitors in attracting new users.

Twitter has an estimated 320 million active monthly users, compared to Facebook's 1.49 billion, and Instagram which has over four million.

Users will see hearts on their iOS and android apps, the Twitter desktop site, tweetdeck and the Vine Android app from today. They will come to Vine on iOS and Twitter users who use Macs soon.

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