We are trying to get this message across to We Heart It officials in hopes that they see what their users want to be changed, so please heart this article!

It is no surprise that as time moves on, so does technology. We live in a changing world, with bigger, better, and more innovative improvements being made every day. Social media platforms are no exception to these changes, including We Heart It. With the new feature of Articles, the face of We Heart It has changed, with people being able to express themselves not just through the images they post and re-heart, but also through their writing. People are now freer to express themselves, but how are Articles going to affect other users who don’t write articles daily, and how is it going to affect We Heart It in the long run? How has We Heart It changed since it was launched in 2008? What are the improvements, and what needs to be improved? In this Article, We Heart It users speak about what they like about the app, and what needs to be changed.

Old users of the app have known a time before Gold memberships, ads, and no Articles. “Popular” users were truly “popular,” getting as many as 3,000 hearts per image on a daily basis and having a huge following. There were no ads at the bottom of a phone screen, or after they scroll left or right on someone’s canvas browsing through their photos. No one had to pay to remove ads because, well, there were none, and the only way for someone to express themselves was through the images they posted, re-hearted, and put into collections on their canvas.

Additionally, there were many more people using the app, and it was a bigger community compared to what it is today. It was a simpler, happier time. You can almost call it We Heart It’s “golden age.” Changes came to the app over time, and change brings results, some of which may be good, but some of which is also bad. People started to become inactive, and the number of users using We Heart It now isn’t the same number as two or three years back. Ads began showing up sometime towards the end of 2016. Gold membership was launched earlier this year, and Articles were launched almost two weeks ago. Even the We Heart It logo got a makeover towards the end of 2016.

THE CURRENT STATE OF WE HEART IT

While change can be for the good, this does not always mean that they will only bring about positive changes. At the time I’m writing this, the average amount of hearts a post will get now is somewhere between 250 and 500 hearts, but even 500 hearts is pushing it. Yes, you read that correctly. The average number of hearts have obviously fluctuated throughout the months and years depending on if We Heart It is doing maintenance or whatnot, but it is quite a surprise to see the decline of the average number of hearts over the years. If you don’t believe me, here’s a little something to put things in perspective. On this day, September 1st, 2017, the day I’m writing this, the most popular image was posted by @9andy and received 1031 hearts.* Exactly one year ago, September 1st, 2016, the most hearted image of that day (not counting the two verified user's posts) was posted by @andreea_lavinia6 and it received 3,852 hearts.

The recent launch of Articles has brought this situation even more into the spotlight, especially for people who post pictures daily. People like me (@music_infinity), Olivia (@solflori), and Sabine (@the_night_skies) are noticing a drastic decline in the number of hearts our uploads receive, and we are not the only ones experiencing this. People like @pompous_ and Ella (@michy9073) have been noticing this as well. Obviously, the number of hearts an image receives doesn’t matter, but it is quite an unusual decline in hearts compared to images posted weeks before the launch of Articles for it to go unnoticed.

ISSUES WE HEART IT FACES TODAY

Ever since the launch of Articles, the All Images page has been flooded with Articles by different people, among other issues. Although people can now read different articles and heart them, there is a slight problem when the same Articles get recycled on the page over and over again, resulting in people’s regular photo posts moving down the page faster. This means less hearts and less exposure to the people who don’t write articles often and just want to post a picture. It is also quite irrational to see that people who are merely writing two paragraphs about something is getting 3,000 hearts on an article while someone who took the time and effort to write a good article only gets about 1,000-2,000 hearts on it, should it end up being recycled onto the All Images page.

Even before the Articles launch, it felt like the All Images page was moving faster than it has in the past, with popular images only staying at the top for a few minutes before moving much further down the page in about fifteen to twenty minutes. To this day, some random posts from months or even years ago are still showing up on the All Images page and disappearing as quick as it got on. Articles are getting more recognition than actual picture uploads these days, which makes sense because it’s a new feature and the people over at We Heart It headquarters want people to utilize this new feature to the best of their ability.

On the contrary, this “recycling articles” feature on the All Images page now is upsetting a lot of people who don’t have the time to write articles or only want to post images. It is up to a person to decide what they want to write about or post, but people who don’t feel comfortable writing and just wanting to post pictures shouldn’t be penalized for not writing by having their images getting lost on the All Images page in the sea of articles. Furthermore, the decline of the quality of the images are decreasing. Pictures taken with HD quality are becoming blurry when uploaded. We Heart It is a place to share pictures as well as articles. It used to be all images, but it can’t turn into only articles either.

CHANGES THROUGH THE YEARS

Some of my other friends on We Heart It, and even myself, have interviewed other frequent users of the app, asking them questions such as what they thought of they thought about We Heart It when they first joined, what they liked about We Heart It when they first joined and what they like about it today, and what they thought about Articles. A lot of the other members we interviewed have been on We Heart It for at least three years.

@pompous_ has been on We Heart It since 2014, and she loves “...our community and the opportunity of inspiring people and getting inspired.” @ivysaint, another user who has been on here since 2014, loves the new Articles feature; it brings a “...more personal connection between the users and their followers. You can write what’s on your mind, what you like, etc.” She loves how We Heart It can be used as an app to scroll through images and to find new inspirations. @deepinoceaan, a user who has been on here since 2013, loves how “The photos that people shared were very beautiful and inspired me.” Sandra (@Sandy213), another member who joined in 2014, liked We Heart It because users were able to “...express their personalities and that pictures showed how someone was feeling at that moment. Every heart means that someone out there is feeling the same way as you.” She also likes how the feature Articles allows people to express themselves through their writing, because “...there is nothing unclear, nothing to be interpreted.” @dazzingly has only been a member of the We Heart It community for almost a year, but she loves the variety of posts that she sees on the site. @girlystyles thinks that the Articles feature is good to read articles because they’re “...interesting & somewhat helpful.” @pretty_pink_love says that she loves We Heart It for “All the inspiration, motivation, and kindness you could spread and be a part of,” and @blxxming is “...really excited about the new articles update...it makes whi a bit more interesting instead of only posting pictures.” Overall, the people interviewed have a positive view of We Heart It when they first joined, and they appreciate the changes that came to the app and website.

ISSUES NOTICED BY HEARTERS

Despite these positive views on We Heart It, many of the people being interviewed still believe that there are still issues that need to be addressed. The decline in the number of hearts on images has not gone unnoticed by other uploaders. Like I mentioned earlier, Ella (@michy9073) has noticed a steady decline over the past three years she’s been on We Heart It. She’s noticed it happen for a while, and she has especially noticed that most images now only get about 250 hearts, give or take a few hundred or so. Even though she “...didn’t connect it” with the new Articles launch, she does take note of the fact that the number of hearts used to be almost 10 times higher in years past. @MadeInTheAM actually said that she actually liked We Heart It more when she first joined four years ago because “...there was much more heartists than it is now.” @daydreaminsparkle has also noticed the “...decrease in hearts lately in general…,” but she doesn’t know if the decline within the past few weeks is due to the Articles launch. @Tigriuke1 has also noticed that she only gets “500 or 600” hearts on her images now compared to the images she posted that got 1,000 hearts in the past. @devalentin has noticed that the number of hearts has fluctuated among all pictures, but she has noticed the average number of hearts “...definitely decrease ever since WHI introduced articles.” @liable is another one of the countless users who has also noticed a decline in the hearts. He says that he’s been only getting around “...300-400 hearts per photo whereas before I was getting around 1,000…” @ThatGirlWithHerBlog mentions that she has seen “...a fall of hearts in the past year.”

I should mention that no one knows if there is a correlation between the Articles launch and the decline in the number of hearts an image gets, but it is a safe inference given that the All Images page now mostly consists of articles and not images. I personally believe that the solution to this problem is fairly simple. There should be two separate pages, one for “All Images” and one for “All Articles.” This will bring the average number of hearts up to where it should be.

POSITIVE CHANGES

There are some people on We Heart It who have actually been gaining more followers and hearts. @pahradiseheaven has been gaining more hearts on her posts, resulting in more followers because of the exposure. Again, I want to stress that no one knows if there is a strong correlation between the launch and the decreasing hearts, mainly because there can always be exceptions. She has been gaining more exposure due to more of her images getting on the All Images page more often, and she was even mentioned in a “Favorite Hearters” article as well (which she 100% deserves). Compared to some of her earlier posts, she’s been getting hundreds of more hearts, but like everyone else, her more recent posts have fallen within the average of about 250 hearts.

@basicallykelly and @liable are other users who have been gaining lately. Like @pahradiseheaven, they’ve been gaining followers at a faster rate than before, even though the number of hearts on their images has been decreasing.

SUGGESTED IMPROVEMENTS BY HEARTERS

All of the users interviewed do wish that We Heart It makes some improvements or add some new features to improve the website and their mobile app. @retardedviet wishes to see a “...comment section for images” and the ability to “...delete conversations with people you don’t talk with anymore.” People like @MyYouthIsYours and @dazzingly wish that We Heart It is ad-free for all users. Many of the people we interviewed, such as @luxury_couture, @pompous_, @devalentin, and @deepinoceaan also wish to be able to send postcards to anyone and not to people who only follow you or if you follow them back. Many users want more ways to interact with their followers and people who don’t follow them. @MadeInTheAM wishes to see a separate section for Articles so they don’t get mixed in with the All Images page, as does @9andy “... so the posted pictures last longer on the discover feed.” A user who wishes to remain anonymous simply just wants “...the number of hearts to go up” again. @Standsforlove thinks that the minimum number of hearts to get on top of the homepage “...should go up, but not immensely because people can’t stay on the top of the homepage.” The minimum number at the moment is set at four hearts.

Other requests from interviewed users include @NightTimeSecret’s suggestion of adding “...the capability to crop pictures, and to be able to change their square position on the phone, the same way we get the chance to do that on a computer” and @britishstars’ suggestion about somehow managing the issue of “...the advertisements popping up everywhere.” Another user who wishes to remain anonymous simply wants the number of hearts to go back to where it was before. Overall, many users, including members of the WHI Revolution* (the people behind this article who helped make it the way it is), believed that the main problems that need to be fixed are ones that involve the number of hearts declining and the lack of communication on We Heart It due to the inability to send postcards to people who don’t follow you.

We Heart It has come a long way since it first began in 2008. It is no surprise to see that it will only keep improving from there. The launch of Articles has launched We Heart It into a new era of allowing users to express themselves more freely than ever before, but not all that glitters is gold. There are still countless changes and improvements that users wish for We Heart It to make in order to enhance not only their own experience on We Heart It, but for other current users, and for new users in the app for years to come.

SOLUTIONS FOR WE HEART IT’S CURRENT PROBLEMS

  • Raise the average amount of hearts that images will get on the All Images page.
  • Make a separate tab for all the Articles, and keep the All Images tab strictly images. This will make finding popular Articles and popular images easier.
  • Have users be able to send postcards to anyone, not just the people they’re following.

Many of these problems have simple solutions. We are in no way trying to criticize We Heart It in any way, shape, or form, nor are we ungrateful for all the hard work that the people over at We Heart It headquarters have put in over the past nine (soon to be ten) years. These changes, although they have happened over time, are becoming more and more noticeable to users and have gotten to the point where users can’t simply ignore them anymore. If any of these issues, even if one of these issues are confronted and dealt with and a solution is made, it will not push We Heart It back, it will only make it better for the millions of users who have accounts. If we want to see change, it should start right now. Change starts with us.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Thank you so much to everyone who read through this ENTIRE article. Hopefully you have related to this article to some degree. I tried to incorporate everyone’s input from the interviews as much as possible so everyone got a little quote in the article somewhere. We Heart It will forever be a getaway for millions of users to be able to express themselves, but it still has quite a long way to go before it can reach its fullest potential. I, @music_infinity, have hope for We Heart It’s future, and I can most likely speak for many of the other users who were interviewed for this article, and you, the reader, when I say so. One of George Bernard Shaw’s quotes about change is “Progress is impossible without change.” I know that’s not the full quote, but we will not see any progress unless we voice our thoughts about what needs to be changed.

So, if you agree with anything in this article, heart this article, put the hashtag #WHITheRevolution in your next caption, your next set of tags, put it in your bio, put it in your next article, put it anywhere to show that you support (positive) change on We Heart It. Join the other members of the #WHITheRevolution movement! Hopefully we generate enough buzz from this so WHI officials will see this and hopefully make some positive changes around here. CHANGE STARTS WITH US!

Next, a BIG thank you goes out to the following people who took the time out of their day to interview people for this Article. This took a lot of time and effort, they interviewed 48 people in total! @the_night_skies, @fiorette, @night_wishes, @Dream_landX, @solflori, @soundmind, @basicallykelly, @mindofotherstars, @rosiness, and @refreshed. Go check out their pages!

Another BIG thank you goes out to the following people who took the time out of their day to answer all of our questions from the interview. There are a lot of people, so don’t forget to check out their pages! If any of the people interviewed read this, I tried to include at least one part of every interview from everyone because there were so many of you, so I’m sorry if I only included a small part of it! We interviewed 48 people, and even though not everyone answered, a good portion of people did and their responses are greatly appreciated. If it wasn’t for them, this article probably wouldn’t be the way it is now. I included the usernames of everyone who wished to have their names put in the article.

Thank you @pahradiseheaven, @Michy9073, @daydreaminsparkle, @luxury_couture, @MyYouthIsYours, @pretty_pink_love, @Tigriluke1, @retardedviet, @MadeInTheAM, @girlystyles, @dazzingly, @ivysaint, @Sandy213, @deepinoceaan, @pompous_, @devalentin, @blxxming, @liable, @9andy, @Standsforlove, @ThatGirlWithHerBlog, @NightTimeSecrets, and @britishstars!

Also, a HUGE thank you goes out to @the_night_skies, who gladly wanted to post this article on her page. It was her idea to make this article and I offered to write it, so thank you for coming up with this idea, Sabine! :)

*The other members of the #WHITheRevolution movement include me (@music_infinity), @the_night_skies, @fiftyshadesofhearts, @night_wishes, @mindofotherstars, @Dream_landX, @fiorette, @soundmind, @solflori, @basicallykelly, @hopeiessfountainkingdom, @velvet_night, @fullofnines, and @watsoncrenshaw.