Visual Aid of Like Button


Visual Aid of Star Button

Is there any science between liking or staring? Does the user click one faster? Does the user respect one more?

Do users like or star?

EDIT: This question has been marked as a duplicate for a question that asked how different using a heart and a star button are. True, this shares the same concept, but not the same situation and set of parameters as my question, which asks about liking and a star button. Is liking the same as using a star?

  • If it says most liked.. Not most starred. Then use likes. Usually stars are for rating 0-5 and not a booleanic liked/not liked scenario Mar 27, 2016 at 4:46
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    @downrep_nation I've seen some sites (I can't remember which, granted) that use stars in this boolean way. It is true, however, that more sites these days use hearts (like Twitter and Tumblr, just off the top of my head). Mar 27, 2016 at 5:18
  • It might be worth throwing that hearts this question as another example, if you'd like. Although in any event, I suspect copyrights and trademarks play a big role here. At the very least, legality aside, you don't want users thinking they're talking to Facebook when they aren't. Mar 27, 2016 at 5:20
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    I may not know if I like a movie but want to star it because the movie is likely going to be used in next week's movie class. Likewise, I may like a movie and may recommend it to others but does not actually want to see it in my Wishlist. Generally, Stars carries less connotation than Likes; although Star is often used to put an item to a list that I can return to see again, irrespective of whether or not I like it.
    – Lie Ryan
    Mar 27, 2016 at 10:38
  • The problem with using a "thumbs up" icon is its association with Facebook. Users might think they're doing a FB thing by clicking that icon. Mar 28, 2016 at 11:55

5 Answers 5


Likes are more likely to be clicked because stars are more similar to favorites. Stars are similar to pinning to a list while likes, similar to on facebook aren't seen after they've left the news feed. Looking at most browsers, they use a star to convey a bookmark. This pins the page to the list of bookmarks.

Youtube uses like / dislike to create a binary rating system that converts to a ratio. Netflix use stars to create a rating system based on the average. This makes it seem that like is better if the section is based on which ones are most liked (based on volume), while Star would be better if it was more similar to the highest rated.

  • Great answer! The section is based on which movies are most liked. Do you agree with @Grafix Guru? A like button is giving someone kudos, regardless if you want them to find the post later. A star is liking marking a favorite and wanting to see something again. I want the section to be based on most liked, but I also want it to have the effect of a star...
    – Cøde Play
    Mar 28, 2016 at 15:11
  • There are some niches where stars are ratings not favorites. Restaurants, hotels, movies...
    – ThisClark
    Mar 28, 2016 at 22:31
  • wouldn't agree here. To me I'd be far more likely to star than like. A like seems to be attaching my endorsement to something, actively pushing it out there that I like it. On facebook you can publically see which people have liked things. A star meanwhile is just something I've bookmarked- usually this just means I have to look back later. It's far more of a simple on/off toggle than LIKE! Mar 29, 2016 at 9:53
  • your statements need to be backed up with some research/data.
    – Midas
    Mar 29, 2016 at 10:27
  • I both agree and disagree with @Grafix Guru. I think that - Like applies to post - Star applies to threads - Like is when you like a post - Star is when you want to save bookmark to a particular post - Like gives someone kudos, regardless of whether you care to find this post later - Star mark a topic as a favorite so you can find it easily in your favorites list But I think that: - Star adds private trust - Like add public trust to Post is not necessarily true. This can change based on the use case.
    – CKH4
    Mar 29, 2016 at 17:46

Like and Star are two different representations of functionality.

Below are the details about Like and Star functionality:

  • Like applies to post
  • Star applies to threads

  • Like add public trust to Post

  • Star adds private trust

  • Like is when you like a post

  • Star is when you want to save bookmark to a particular post

  • Like gives someone kudos, regardless of whether you care to find this post later

  • Star mark a topic as a favorite so you can find it easily in your favorites list

After going through the above list you get better idea to decide on what to use and which one is appropriate. Hope this helps.

  • 1
    Im not sure if I agree with some of these, for instance start applies to threads? Im not sure I've ever seen a whole thread with a singular star rating, but I have seen many product reviews (posts) with star ratings. Same with star adds private trust not public? As mentioned many reviews use stars and those are specifically made for public trust, as well as things like netflix movie ratings, star rating that the public uses.
    – DasBeasto
    Mar 28, 2016 at 12:13

Star is used to distinguish one item from the others by selecting it. The same is scalable by giving several stars, say 3 out of 5 - comes with a limit.

Like does not come with a limit. It is relative, but at a larger scale. One item could get 5 likes, while another could get 3000.

Using stars you could get more depth per item on how better it is. In other words, star can be used to variate in 5 steps (bad, not bad, good, very good, excellent) when like has only one variant - like yes or no.


I believe it completely depends on what context a star or a like to be used. Star looks good to get reviews from a user in a more detailed manner compared to a like.

An interesting case I have seen UBER drivers tap on stars one by one till the 3rd, 4th or 5th star or whatever they want to rate, maybe a detailed study is required for this behavior. A like and dislike is just first impression types for people, maybe you can find cases of people who may have liked a youtube video only after watching some nth time, maybe this depends on user to user.

I have seen very few websites or apps using a single star to take a feedback for the consumable content. A single star can confuse users to a bookmark icon too.


FAVORITE - If the user wants to see it again sometime in the future

LIKE - If the user wants to express his feeling and just leave it

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