Hearts on Twitter and Secondary Orality


“We are changing our star icon for favorites to a heart and we’ll be calling them likes. 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 favorite.”

Source: Hearts on Twitter | Twitter Blogs

Interesting connection between Twitter and its rebranded hearts with the concept of “secondary orality:”

“In the era of electronic media it is difficult to keep the distinction between oral culture and literate culture, since there are more and more hybrid forms of culture that spread on the internet. The secondary orality character of applications like Twitter is a manifestation, a consequence of humans’ desire to group, not out of a survival instinct but as a deliberate, rational act of re-integration, as statement of self-consciousness and declaration of identity within neo-tribal cultures.”

Source: Liliana Bounegru | Secondary Orality in Microblogging

When people ask me how Twitter is different than Facebook (or Pinterest, Instagram etc), I like to present my admittedly boiled-down take on the phenomenon of secondary orality in a trans-literate global culture.

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