Separate 'Like' and 'Bookmark' buttons

The “favorite star” feature is very useful. I use it primarily as a way to bookmark observations I want to get back to in the future. Others use it to rank observations in some way (vote for observation of the month, or to sort by most stars).

I would like there to be two buttons:

  1. Like button: A heart of thumbs-up. The same way it works everywhere else, where I can “fire and forget” to show appreciation of content (observation), or to “vote” for it in terms of observation of the month.

  2. Bookmark button: The current favorite star’s functionality can be retained, maybe just change the wording and icon to be more clear.

Old Google Groups Discussions:

I would thumbs-up a flower observation because it is pretty or interesting, but I do not want to bookmark (remember) or follow the observation.

I would bookmark a mammal observation I notice that looks strange due to the range and I want to come back in the future with questions/feedback when I had time to investigate. Maybe ask if it was in a zoo or game park.

I would like to be able to “thumbs up,” “like” comments too, not just observations. That could communicate appreciation in lieu of my typically wordy responses.


" I use it primarily as a way to bookmark observations"
Perhaps I’m alone here, but I feel you shouldn’t be doing this, it isn’t what it is meant for. It’s there so people can use the ‘popular’ filter to see obs that people have liked. I agree it would be useful to have a bookmark functionality which should, like the follow button, be invisible to other users. But until we have such a function, why not bookmark obs in your browser?

1 Like

Some reasons that come to mind:

  1. I’m not always on the same computer / browser, or sometimes on the mobile app.

  2. The current star feature functions as a bookmark feature, so I’m using it as such.

  3. The star feature provides a dedicated page to see nice thumbnails of all observations I starred. Browser bookmarks don’t (maybe there is some browser plugin, but not the point).

I like the idea of “invisible” / “private” stars which can then be used as bookmarks, but two stars feel a bit more confusing than a like and a bookmark to me.


I love browsing and helping out on the ID page, but I often come across things I don’t recognise and would like to receive notifications about when someone more knowledgeable comes along and puts a name to it. To that end, I select the “follow this observation” option BUT once I leave that page its lost to the ether until I receive a notification about someone else’s activity on it. I have no recourse to find it again otherwise! If I should happen to come across some information I realise to be relevant to the observation its very difficult to dig it up again.

I would love if there was a “Followed observations” list similar to the favourites list, or as you suggest a bookmark function. FWIW- im not going to bookmark observations in my browser because at this point there would be hundreds. I just want a compact browsable list same as my favourites list. If it could have the additional feature of ‘sort by xyz’ that would be fantastic.

It seems like bit of an oversight that something you have actively chosen to follow isn’t already indexed for ease of reacessability. You WANT to keep tabs on this thing, seems like a no-brainer? I hope the devs can implement something here :)


Having some way to check the list of observations you have ‘followed’ is a great idea, especially with a search function to narrow things down.

Regarding browser bookmarks, I unfortunately discovered a few months ago that it’s easy to lose them if you have computer problems. Several dozen iNat observations I had bookmarked are now gone and I can’t remember what any of them were now.


It might be possible to edit the url and have it filter on “followed”. @tiwane @kueda @bouteloua might know how…

You can find all the stuff you’re following under ‘Subscriptions’ - . For observations you’re following click on ‘Observations’ on the menu on the right. This list doesn’t distinguish between obs that you’re just following (having clicked Follow this observation) and obs you’ve added IDs or comments to which are automatically followed.

One can unsubscribe from any ob in the list so as not to receive any more notifications from it.

But there is no search function to narrow down the list (not one I’ve found anyway).


Very similar to what you wrote, I think it would be good to be able to “star” something but have separate lists, for example “possibly out of range”, “early date”, “show mom”, “whatever…”, kind of like lists are used on Amazon for whatever category of stuff you want.

I have been favoriting things for years for different purposes, mostly as a catch-all for observations I want to return to later when I have more time or resources handy. Being able organize further would be very helpful.


It would also be good to be able to ‘like’ journal posts


Great idea! Could we extend it to IDs? I like to thank people who supply plausible non-obvious IDs for my observations. But getting too many “thanks” comments can make it tough for identifiers to view and track comments that require a response.

During the Challenge period ~2 weeks ago I stopped thanking identifiers because identifiers were probably getting too much feedback.

I hesitate now to go back to expressing my appreciation in comments, except that I WILL thank someone who makes an exceptional effort.


I would still like to have a way to find the “liked” observations…

I guess I’m going against the grain here, but I do not support the idea of a “like” button or a “thumbs up” type button for either observations or comments.

While this is a social platform, it’s not meant to be a Facebook or Reddit like platform, and the addition of that sort of thing fundamentally changes the nature of this medium and how it gets used.

You’d have an influx of what are called ‘karma whores’ on reddit, people hunting for the ‘likes’ and upvotes rather than putting up content for the purposes of the content itself.

I get the desire to show gratitude for an observation or a comment, but clicking a button is an utterly meaningless way of doing so. If you really feel the desire to show gratitude, then add a “thanks” post in reply to their comment. That shows the gratitude far better than clicking a virtual button and it also can lead to some very interesting conversations about the content.

A button is not engaging, a button is a way to avoid engaging.


File that one under “things I learned on the forum.” I honestly thought bookmarking was what the favorite star was for.

1 Like

I know it’s intended for showing the nicest looking photos, but I mostly use it for bookmarking observations I want to return to regularly as well, or ones that show some cool behaviour. Based on the sort by faves search results I get the impression a lot of other people use it similarly.

1 Like

My impression was it was for observations that are “standouts”, which doesn’t limit them to those with good photos at all! I’m just as likely to fav an obs that has comments that are useful for IDing, or those that show organisms popping up in unusual places. I’m actually more likely to simply make a comment that I think will come up in a search if I am looking for that observation again.


So do I. I don’t like the idea of bookmarking obs out of the plataform and I’ve seen no other way, up to now, to bookmark obs I want to follow, specially when IDing on the mobile app.

1 Like

Well, I feel like I’m from a different planet trying to understand this “karma whore” concept. Used FB once upon a time and I have strong opinions there, never used reddit, twitter, instagram or any of it so perhaps my mindset may seem naive. I guess my lack of social media experience led me to think in a practical way that responding with @ mentions several times in the course of conversations happening about observations in the comments would be more taxing and onerous for folks to whom I am responding than a discrete list where they could be notified that I saw and read the follow-up. I’m a very verbose person and I like to communicate gratitude but not just that…I also prefer to acknowledge when someone takes the time to have a multi-comment back and forth with me about veination of insect wings without the necessity of repeatedly typing their name again (and the necessity for them to click the observation and read the fourth, “thanks @_____ for that” ) when a simple way for them to know I saw the last comment would suffice.

Generally, I agree that effort and communication are paramount to community but practicality and efficiency are also important and tools can always be appropriately or inappropriately used.


This sounds like a great feature! I can’t count how many times I have used a “fave” to mark an obs for review later, usually when I know the name but can’t remember it.

I prefer to use and see a few likes, instead of “thanks” spam, which generates notifications for everyone else on that thread.

To avoid the karma whores maybe cap the likes at 5 each?