Twitter has now confirmed it is testing a downvoting button, but it remains unclear if everyone will get the chance to dislike Tweets in the future.
Twitter has started testing what is essentially a ‘dislike’ button on the platform although its purpose and use is far different to the typical dislike options available elsewhere. Still, this marks quite the change from the general move by other platforms and the social media space in general. It also remains to be seen if the feature will actually become a permanent Twitter fixture in the future.
Likes and dislikes can be an important tool for services and users, as they can provide insight into trends and the general consensus. For example, YouTube released its annual Rewind video in 2018 and that quickly went on to become the most disliked video on the platform. This then resulted in YouTube adjusting the way it makes and packages its Rewind videos. More recently, YouTube actually started running a test where dislikes were removed from view for some users, citing creator well-being as the reason.
Now, Twitter has confirmed it is testing a dislike button. Technically, Twitter states it “is not a dislike button” referring to it as a “downvoting” tool instead, even though it amounts to the same thing. Some users are already seeing the new button that sits next to the like (or upvote) option and is represented by a ‘thumbs down’ icon. As part of the same test, users may see other changes as well. For example, the changing of the heart icon for likes to a ‘thumbs up’ icon. Currently, the testing is only taking place with iOS users, so access to the dislike/downvote button is not expected to be available for those using Twitter on other devices, including Android.
Twitter’s Hidden Dislikes
When YouTube started testing the removal of the dislike button on videos, it wasn’t actually removing the button. Instead, the experiment hid the dislike count from view and that appears to be the case with Twitter as well. The micro-blogging platform has confirmed that registered downvotes are not visible to the general Twitter public. In other words, unlike likes, no one will see any of the dislikes made by someone else.
In explaining the decision to start testing the new option, Twitter says the goal here is to better understand the “types of replies‘ ‘ users “find relevant” in a conversation. Based on this comment and the image from Twitter above, it does seem clear that the feature won’t allow a user to dislike a Tweet. Instead, they will only be able to down vote a reply to a Tweet. There’s also no clear suggestion that the option to dislike or down vote will become widely available at a later date. Even if it does, it might remain the case that dislikes on Twitter are only applicable to replies and remain hidden from everyone else.
Source: Twitter Support/Twitter
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