Twitter regularly tests features that never become anything, but its latest experiment is infuriating power users by wedging other people's favorites into your Timeline.
I haven't fallen victim to the intrusion, but several high-profile Twitter users noted the appearance of their friends' favorites--and they weren't happy about it.
It's important to note that Twitter diehards use favorites as shorthand, a way to like or acknowledge a tweet without responding. Tweets I favorite are not actually my favorite tweets of the day--I might just quickly star a tweet to note that I saw it without having to respond. Those favorites shouldn't show up in other users' Timelines because they'll probably be meaningless to anyone but me.
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said last month that the network will continue to make changes to make the user experience better, particularly for newbies who find Twitter a tough nut to crack. If your friends' favorite tweets show up in your Timeline, you might discover new people to follow. But for heavy Twitter users, the network's experiments are reminiscent of Facebook's tinkering. Now an algorithm determines which of your friends' Facebook posts you see, and no amount of grumbling will change that. Twitter hasn't adopted the algorithmic Timeline, which would surface some tweets and bury others, but Costolo hasn't ruled it out, either.
It must be said: Twitter's power users are resistant to change of any kind. Remember when everyone was outraged by in-line images? Now that they've been shown to boost engagement with tweets, in-line images have turned haters into fans.
Twitter, of course, isn't saying whether favorites-as-retweets will stick around.