People are not using the ❤ button

Is anyone else having trouble with getting people to like posts they obviously find useful?

I have been posting dozens of canned replies over the past weeks encouraging people to like posts whenever someone said “thank you” etc but didn’t :heart: the post. I can see some results, but overall, I think it could be better.

Or perhaps it’s normal? But if I take meta for comparison, it had roughly 10k posts over the past 30 days and also 10k likes. So roughly 1 like per post. We had 2.8k posts but only 733 likes. So about 1 like per 4 posts. Both forums are support forums.

Any ideas? Strategies? Similar experiences? Should I stop posting my canned replies to make people aware of the :heart: button? Or should I change it? Here is what it says:

BTW: A good way of showing your appreciation for a post is to like it: just press the :heart: button under the post.

If you asked the original question, you can also mark an answer as the accepted answer which solved your problem using the tick-box button you see under each reply.

All of this also helps the forum software distinguish interesting from less interesting posts when compiling summary emails.


I still feel Notify on every like should be the default … I have this enabled on meta and do not find it too disturbing, even when @zogstrip goes on a like rampage. You can set it to be the default on your forum and experiment to see if it helps.

The idea is that if new users are notified more on likes they are more … like…ly to like.

That said, a lot of this would be due to the type of forum or type of participants. Some cultures, forums, people are more likely to like and some are less.

Some forums, in fact, hate likes so much they disable them.

I am not even sure that “not enough liking” is a pathological problem. Not enough good content, not enough active users is the war you should be fighting and it is somewhat controversial to assume “more liking” will get you “more and better content”


Over on the forum I maintain, we recently changed from a :heart: to a :+1: symbol for likes, following a public poll and discussion. The immediate change was drastic:

That graph is from the day after we made the change.

I don’t want to state unequivocally that the change is the result of changing the icon – the topic that resulted in that change also helped to explain what likes were for and how they should be used – but there’s definitely a correlation there.


People like be acknowledge especially new comers.
When you see that on twitter or facebook your happy, don’t hide it :slight_smile:

I support this idea strongly


I don’t want to sound too critical, but that was only the first day. What happened thereafter?


Yeah, I was too lazy to screengrab an updated graph! :stuck_out_tongue: Things tapered off, but to my eye, they look to have an average of ~1.5x - 2x what was there before:

(Things are very slow this week and on the weekends as it’s school holidays here in Australia, and the forum I run is for teachers and administrators who use my company’s software.)


I disagree; it looks about the same. You’d need a few more weeks of data to tell for sure.


I replaced Like :heart: with Thanks :+1: more than a year ago (June 2016).
My stats:

No significant increase.
It was a request from my team that did not particularly like the symbol :heart:.


I’ve noticed a marked difference in the way Likes are used from community to community. At FeverBee they aren’t used much at all. Here they are rife. That is in part to do with the fact that the <20char post limit is activated here and not at FeverBee (by design – it frustrates me) but mostly it’s a culture thing.

You’re probably approaching this correctly, but behaviour change is a slow burn. The people that you change with the canned reply will model the behaviour for subsequent members and it should snowball.

@sam 's notification point is a good one although he loses credit for those painful jokes.


I guess that is debatable. Of course, culture plays a role. But the main difference between here and feverbee, I’d say is that this is mainly a support and feature request forum. Both of these activities are :heart:-prone while feverbee is much more discussion-oriented. Yes, it’s also support, but also not the kind where you necessarily get a “right” answer that you can then like.

Yes, that’s why I forced myself to nag people with those canned replies from the very beginning. Let’s see how it works out. We have followed sam’s advice and turned on Notify on every like too, though I assume it will only affect new users…

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I agree that we need a bit more data, and that time will tell. For what it’s worth, here’s the data accompanied by a seven-day moving average, and with the holes filled in:

If I put a trendline on that average, it heads upwards – but that doesn’t mean anything with so little data. :wink:

I’ll keep running this experiment for a while; I know it can’t ever give us a definitive answer, because there’s no exactly comparable control group. As @HAWK notes, the use of likes is probably also at least somewhat culturally bound. Also, as @tophee notes, the forum type also plays a role; a large part of our forum is given over to suggestions, with the voting plugin enabled, so those topics won’t have any likes on the first post.


Perhaps write a script that changes the like icon on a weekly basis to a random emoji?

Also maybe account for user growth.


If the intent is to cut down on the “Thanks” and “Nice post” type noise, perhaps bump the post entropy settings up to somewhere that catches most of them, and then change the popup text to something along the lines of: “If you’re trying to show appreciation for an earlier post, please consider using the ‘like’ button on the post”

Bonus points if someone can figure out a filter that catches the most common ThankSpam posts, and displays the modified message only for those messages. All other short posts would get the standard message.


Facebook uses thumbs-up.

Instagram uses heart.

Would there be a split between younger vs older generation?


This plugin:

already does something close…


Thanks, I’ll try it.

1 Like

May I suggest to increase conversion rate?


I’d like to do the same with our forum. How did you change it? Is there a setting somewhere I’m missing? Is this a css trick?

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This should be still valid to use:

The icon is the content , you can use the code of the thumbs up icon on Fontawesome so, change

content: "\f0aa";
content: "\f164";


I changed the icon as in my forum!

 /*altera botão like */
 .fa-heart:before {
  content: "\f164";
} {
    color: #31b5b2 !important;
    background: #C6FFCE !important;
    border-radius: 20px;

button.has-like {
    color: #31beb1 !important;