Have you ever been scrolling through Twitter and thought, “This website could really use some Facebook-style emoji reactions”? Yeah, me neither. Nonetheless, the company has been surveying users throughout the past month about that possibility, TechCrunchreports.
Per screenshots of the survey that a Twitter user shared, the proposed emoji reactions could include the basics — a laughing face with tears, a thinking face, a crying face — and some spicier variations — shocked faces, angry faces, fire emojis. They could also include a downvote or dislike option.
A Twitter spokesperson tells The Verge,“We’re exploring additional ways for people to express themselves in conversations happening on Twitter.” The spokesperson emphasizes that Twitter’s research is still in its early stages and noted that the emojis would exist in addition to the current “heart” button, rather than replacing it.
Twitter’s design chief has also indicated that such features might be coming soon in a few enigmatic tweets.
Per this survey I just took, Twitter is considering adding emoji reaction sets and downvoting. I think either of those might be what forces me off this site. pic.twitter.com/uEgtmrSk7F
— john d moore (@jdm0079) March 18, 2021
Neither emoji reactions nor downvotes would be a unique feature of Twitter. Facebook employs a set of the former, and the latter is a central feature of Reddit and YouTube comment sections. That said, Reddit and comment sections tend to operate more anonymously than Twitter and Facebook, where users more commonly exist and post as their public selves.
That’s why this is an incredibly stressful announcement for me. If I receive downvotes on a random meme I post on Reddit from my entirely anonymous account, I will not blink twice — they’re downvoting the meme, not me. But I can only imagine that a downvote on a tweet, coming from my personal account with my name and picture attached, will feel like a personal affront, and it will be embarrassing and devastating enough to drive me off the site and force me to find alternative hobbies. Actually, never mind. I’m totally in favor of these features.