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Is it a kind of button? Do such UI components have a specific name?For instance this control that lets you mark a tweet as favorite

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

It depends on the context where you intend to use the term.

As a general description of these state buttons, i prefer "toggle button". And add the state that is toggled when describing a certain button, like "favorite toggle button".

The concept of feedback/comments and evaluating eachothers feedback was (among other improvements) refered to as "Web 2.0" a while ago. Nowadays I think "social media interaction" is the popular term.

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even I was thinking of them as 'toggle buttons' as they have two states amongst which a user can switch. – Kartik G May 15 '11 at 9:40

You can call it "interaction buttons" or "reaction buttons", because the users react/interact to/with the content.

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