Social media websites have done a fantastic job at connecting people. Aside from allowing people who are far apart to communicate through messages, they also made it possible through posts. In social media networks, users are free to say almost anything that comes to mind. Different platforms offer different means. Take Twitter, for example. It is a micro-blogging social media website. On Twitter, only a few characters are allowed to be in a tweet.
But, whatever the means of expression may be, the comment section is a staple. It is where public conversations happen. Through comments, users can elaborately express how they feel about the post.
However, not all are interested in participating in these conversations, especially in heated ones. That is where the “like” button comes into play.
Like and Dislike Button
By clicking or tapping it, you could tell the person who made the post that you loved or agreed to what he said. If you do not, you can simply ignore the post. However, that would not tell them that you did not like it. Instead, they could assume you never saw the post.
You might ask why there is no dislike button on Twitter and on most sites. Youtube has it, so why is it not present in others?
The thing is, the dislike button helps the Youtube algorithm. It affects how content is ranked, which is not necessary for other sites like Twitter and Facebook. Besides, Youtube is looking to make the dislike count invisible to people. They saw that it is detrimental to the well-being of the user. Knowing that Twitter is not likely to add it to their system.
Facebook Style Reactions
The social media giant Facebook also pushed back the notion of adding a dislike button. Instead, they introduced another way for users to express how they feel about a post. That is through Reactions.
Facebook added other options other than like. They added love, haha, wow, angry, sad, and most recently, care. An emoji represents each one of them.
With this addition, you can “wow” a post to show how impressed you were. Likewise, you can use the sad reaction for posts like someone passing away. It is a more effective way to express than the bland “like” button. Think about it. Before Reactions, you put “likes” on posts that are like that. It is almost like you were happy they were gone. Depending on the person, they may actually misinterpret it. That would put a strain on your relationship. Now, confusion like that is prevented by having a separate button for each emotion.
Because of that, the reaction system that Facebook launched was warmly received by users.
Twitter Followers Takes Inspiration From Facebook
Social media networks are in competition against each other for more Followers. Every one of them wants to have the most and most active Twitter followers or users. But, they have one common goal. That is to unite people. Therefore, a development in one network proven to be effective at improving relationships is bound to be copied by others. 0
For example, several social sites have added live show features that allow users to connect or talk to others in real-time. Other networks have live streams while Twitter has Spaces. But that is not the only thing on Twitter that was inspired by another social media site. It can be remembered that Twitter implemented visual guidelines that are similar to Facebook.
Now, there is news spreading around that says Twitter is taking more inspiration from Facebook. App researcher Jane Manchun Wong found that Twitter is testing a Facebook-like reaction system.
Based on Wong’s findings, there will be four new reactions in addition to the already existing lie button. These are “Cheer,” “Hmm,” “Sad,” and “Haha.” Of course, each one of them will be represented by a different emoji so users can differentiate or easily interpret them. The assets Wong found revealed that only the emojis for “Hmm” and “Haha” have been decided so far. The formerly star-shaped “Likes” button is about to retain its current representation, which is the heart. Although, the heart emoji was also used as a placeholder for the “Cheer” and “Sad” reactions.
Twitter itself also teased the feature when they did a survey asking users about emoji reactions. When asked why it said they are always exploring additional ways for people to express themselves in conversations.
Difference to Facebook
Twitter managed to still separate itself from Facebook by opting for other moods or reactions.
The “Cheer” button could be similar to Facebook’s “Wow.” Users can use it to denote that they are impressed. It is like saying, “You did great!” However, based on the name, it is safe to assume that we can also use this for greetings and celebrations. Whereas a “Wow” reaction would be a bit out of place.
Another dissimilarity is the absence of the “Angry” react, which was replaced by “Hmm.” This is a wise move from Twitter. The “Angry” reaction could be viewed as the same as the “dislike” button, which they try to avoid so much. So instead, they opted for a response that implies the issue needs some thinking. It hints that you disagree, but it feels less hostile. Again, social media wants to unite people, not divide them.
That is just one use of the “Hmm” reaction, though. It can be used as a reaction to a post that asks riddles or confusing questions.
Copycat or not, this new feature will help Twitter to provide a more positive experience to its users. It leads to a better and faster understanding of how people feel about a particular topic. Government agencies and companies can use it to learn how people perceive their actions instantly. There would be less of a need for surveys and such. They would just need to look at the reactions, and they will know the answer. So, they would be able to respond faster. Not just them, though. All people can.
In short, this feature will be beneficial for building, maintaining, and fixing relationships between humans, communities, and entities.