Twitter is testing out a new feature on the iOS app that lets users downvote reply tweets.
Do you know what the internet needs? More ways to express that you disagree with something. That’s why Twitter has announced that it’s experimenting with a new way to interact with tweets on its iOS app.
Announced via the Twitter Support account, the tech company says: “Some of you on iOS may see different options to up or down vote on replies.
“We’re testing this to understand the types of replies you find relevant in a convo, so we can work on ways to show more of them.”
The rollout is a test feature, and so won’t appear for all Twitter users accessing the site from the iOS app. If you are one of the chosen few, then you’ll see a brand new icon on the banner beneath tweet replies.
In the image attached to the announcement tweet, it looks as though Twitter is experimenting with different types of icons, too. There’s one variant that looks strikingly similar to the downvote button from forum site Reddit. Another changes the ‘like’ button to something that resembles the upvote button from Reddit, too. A third variation sees a Facebook-style thumbs up and down system.
Someone on the Reddit social team was even quick to respond with a sly meme after learning that Twitter might be looking into copying the downvote feature.
Everybody disliked that
Twitter caveats the research with a few key points. The test is purely for ‘research’ right now and isn’t a confirmation that the feature will become widespread any time soon. Twitter is keen for people to not see it as a ‘dislike’ button, despite one of the images showing an upside down thumb.
In addition, your downvotes are only visible to you. It’s not possible to see exactly how many downvotes a certain tweet might have from other users. That’s probably a good thing for the egos of those who make awfully unfunny tweets (me).
Finally, downvotes won’t change the order in which replies appear on your screen. This seems like a feature that will change eventually if Twitter is to pursue the idea further. The company explains that the research is to help users see replies that are most relevant to them. Surely, it’s through the downvote system that Twitter will determine which replies are deemed worthy enough to push to the top of the algorithm.
It remains to be seen whether this downvote button experiment will have permanent repercussions for the site. The addition might help to curb some of the toxic abuse that often ends up in the replies of some tweets, or it could just be another feature that Twitter decides to abandon a year down the line. Last week, it got rid of the disappearing story mechanic known as Fleets.
Do you think that Twitter is in need of a downvote button? Let us know across our social channels.
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Featured Image Credit: Twitter