Twitter hasn’t always had a good reputation when it comes to implementing features that users demand. Take for example the ability to edit tweets, which only exists in the realms of collective social media imaginations. But lately, the company has been testing a host of new features such as audio chatrooms, a Super Follow tool, and even a subscription tier that gives access to tools such as the ability to undo tweets. But there are a couple of other features that Twitter is experimenting with – emoji reactions and the ability to downvote.
Remember the obituaries that popped up on the internet – and the outrage that followed – when the company replaced the favorites (star icon) feature with likes (heart icon) in 2015? Well, looks like something similar is about to happen. The social media giant has been surveying a small bunch of users, asking them to pick five reactions out of over 20 options that they would like to see if Twitter introduces emoji reactions.
More screenshots of Twitter’s ideas for adding emoji reactions to tweets
— 🟣 Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) March 24, 2021
Taking a proactive approach, Twitter even asked the surveyed users to pick the best one among three sets, each containing some seven emoji reactions. The idea is not new, as Twitter was toying with the concept all the way back in June last year. However, the Jack Dorsey-led company won’t be the first to do it, as Facebook enabled emoji reactions all the way back in 2016 for users across the globe.
Among the emoji reactions that Twitter is experimenting with are upvotes and downvotes. Yes, just the way you see them on Reddit, or YouTube too, where they exist as likes/dislikes (thumbs up/down icon). While likes on a tweet more or less serve the purpose of an upvote, a downvote button has no Reddit or YouTube equivalent on Twitter, and this will definitely create some social media stir.
Downvotes = Disaster, at least on Twitter
Yes, downvotes might help Twitter recognize a bad tweet that may, or may not contain offensive content, but there is a reporting system in place to govern the latter part. However, the downvote or dislike button on Twitter will become another measure of social media acceptance and popularity that will lead to a few headaches and undue stress.
Imagine posting a cool meme, and it goes unrecognized? Well, you can live with it. But what if it gets downvoted a few thousand times, that too in a space where anonymity is not a luxury, unlike Reddit. “We’re exploring additional ways for people to express themselves in conversations happening on Twitter,” Twitter said in a statement shared with TechCrunch.