Micro-blogging platform Twitter is surveying users over the past month about the possibility of introducing Facebook-style emoji reactions to tweets, according to a report in TechCrunch. The proposed emoji reactions could include the basic emojis including a laughing face with tears, a thinking face, a crying face, along with some more emojis like a shocked face, angry faces, fire emojis and more, according to screenshots of the survey shared by the users. The TechCrunch report also says that Twitter may also be considering a way for users to dislike or downvote a tweet. A Twitter spokesperson even confirmed the development to The Verge, saying that the company is exploring additional ways for people to express themselves in conversations happening on Twitter. The spokesperson noted that the company’s research is still in its early stages and said that the emojis will be an addition to the “heart” button, rather than replacing it.
Twitter’s design chief has also indicated that such features might be coming soon in a few tweets. Neither emoji reactions, nor downvotes will be a unique feature, as Facebook already has emoji reactions, while Reddit has downvotes, like the YouTube comments section. The survey questions from Twitter indicate that the micro-blogging platform is aware of the challenges that come with introducing emoji reactions. The company asked users how they would use the reaction – for example, reacting with emojis instead of replying to a tweet, or whether they would downvote irrelevant or offensive tweets as well. Twitter is also asking users how they will feel if their Tweet tweet is downvoted and whether that would discourage users from tweeting in the future.
Twitter has not started testing the feature yet, and is only doing the survey to get an idea about the ways people could add more nuance to the conversations they are having on the platform. And if doing so will add more context around those conversations.