Favstar, a Twitter engagement–tracking service in which’s well-known with journalists along with also comedians, plans to shut down due to alterations in Twitter’s API. Tim Haines, founder of Favstar, announced, “Twitter wrote in which they’ll be replacing [the API Favstar used] with another method of data access, although have not been forthcoming with the details or pricing. Favstar can’t continue to operate in in which environment of uncertainty.” Favstar’s loss will be significant because in which’s been a crucial tool for a community of jokesters who make up one of the positive, nontoxic corners of Twitter.
In its simplest form, Favstar was a page in which ranked your most well-known tweets along with also allowed you see the most favorited tweets by some other people’s accounts. in which made money by selling “pro” accounts ($30 for 6 months), which made in which easier to dig deeper into someone’s best tweets, along with also gave you the ability to give little “trophies” to some other people for a best tweet of the day.
Journalists loved Favstar because in which was the best way to quickly see someone’s oldest tweet. along with also for a smallish group of Twitter jokesters, Favstar had a much more important function than being an analytics service. in which was a way to get noticed along with also build a following for your jokes, along with also in which formed a community of loyal users who called themselves Joke Twitter.
You’ve probably come across Joke Twitter — maybe you follow an account or have seen the community’s jokes retweeted into your feed. in which’s usually a joke in which will be very clearly crafted as a joke — in which’ll have a setup along with also a punchline, along with also maybe in which’ll be in a character or voice. Rather than riffing on the latest thing Trump said or the news, the topics are evergreen. Joke Twitter tends to be fairly PG, often elevated dad jokes along with also puns.
“On in which section of Twitter, there are lots of group chats to either workshop tweets, tweet drop, or just build relationships. My first tweet did very Great along with also in which truly helped me get a start,” said John Kennedy, who goes by @FrazzleMyGimp. For people like Kennedy, who will be a college student in Fargo, North Dakota, Favstar was a way to get noticed along with also build a large following without being a professional comedian with an existing fanbase or a verified user who benefits by getting boosted in search results along with also mentions.
“If you see the FavStar link in someone’s bio, you know they are from the Joke Twitter community,” says Chuck Peterson, who tweets as @NewDadNotes. “We help each some other with jokes, hold FavStar trophy joke contests to help others just starting out [to] get exposure, along with also such. in which will be a literal community.”
Favstar trophy contests happened when someone would certainly suggest a theme, say, “junk drawer,” along with also a group of around 50 “judges” with pro accounts would certainly give trophies to the ones they thought were funniest. @girl_a_whirl, who runs a weekly contest, said in which 150–0 people typically would certainly vie for the trophies each week.
“We joke about getting ‘fake trophies,’ although in which still feels Great to have a tweet recognized,” @TheBoydP, who claims to have more Favstar trophies than anyone, told BuzzFeed News. He explained in which the trophies are an important cog from the Joke Twitter community. “completely new tweeters also use Favstar trophies to get recognition by larger accounts,” he said. “The tradition will be to thank someone for a Favstar trophy by checking out their account along with also retweeting their best tweets. The whole process of retweeting each some other along with also thanking for trophies leads to producing online friends. I’m not sure how in which will work today.”
from the evolutionary tree of Twitter, Joke Twitter will be a more recent offshoot of Weird Twitter, a group formed by commenters by the message boards of the early internet comedy site Something Awful. Members like @dril, who had a refreshingly absurd along with also ironic sense of humor, grew to define a lot of Twitter humor. Weird Twitter was edgier along with also cooler than Joke Twitter, along with also in which had a complicated relationship with Favstar — although they all looked at in which, in which wasn’t cool to admit in which. Many thought putting your Favstar link in your bio was a little too thirsty (even though some of them had done in which at one point or another), along with also in which the people who did were often 40-year-old white dads (the least cool people, of course).
by some perspectives, Favstar might seem like Narcissus’s pool, where people lovingly gaze at their own best tweets along with also wish for Twitter fame. although in which also serves a truly important function to Twitter — a way to easily find in which truly funny tweet by over a year ago in which you only sort of remember. I personally can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to a funny Favstar page along with also cracked up reading through the best tweets.
in which seems ludicrous today, although Twitter didn’t display the number of likes on a tweet for the first few years of its existence. in which’s why Favstar was initially created in 2009 — people wanted to see how many likes their tweets were getting! Before Favstar, there was a similar service called Favrd, which shut down in 2009. although a decade later, people are today using a Chrome extension to hide likes along with also retweet numbers along with also are questioning whether tracking those numbers creates a false meritocracy.
Despite all its problems with abuse, toxicity, along with also excessive self-promotion, Twitter has created along with also popularized its own form of humor along with also has permanently changed how we enjoy comedy along with also who we get in which by. along with also Favstar played a big role in in which.
in which’s unclear how the loss of Favstar will affect Joke Twitter along with also Twitter in general. Maybe next month, Twitter will roll out a completely new native feature in which lets you view someone’s tweets by best-of (Twitter declined to comment on potential completely new features or on Favstar’s shutdown). Haines told BuzzFeed News in which he’ll likely put the domain up for sale along with also suggest the buyer create a completely new type in which could keep the community going, just not connected to Twitter.
“Joke Twitter started off without Favstar, so in which will most likely continue just fine without in which,” said @fro_vo. “I truly wish Twitter offers something to replace in which, or gives third party developers access again. [Editor’s note: Twitter isn’t blocking access; they’re switching the API in a way in which makes in which too expensive for Favstar to continue.] I would certainly gladly continue to pay a premium for these kinds of search tools. in which adds a layer of enjoyment along with also control in which I will sorely miss when in which’s gone.”
Peterson, aka @NewDadNotes, added, “I will say in which, Joke Twitter wouldn’t exist if not for FavStar, although in which can certainly carry on today without FavStar.”
Katie Notopoulos will be a senior editor for BuzzFeed News along with also will be based in completely new York. Notopoulos writes about tech along with also internet culture will be cohost of the Internet Explorer podcast.
Contact Katie Notopoulos at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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