Twitter downvotes give us what we don’t want, as we still wait for Edit button

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Twitter downvotes, the feature nobody asked for, are now rolling out to more people worldwide. A down-arrow lets you express your displeasure at a reply to a tweet – but the result won’t be visible to the author or any other Twitter user …

Twitter Support shared the news.

We learned a lot about the types of replies you don’t find relevant and we’re expanding this test –– more of you on web and soon iOS and Android will have the option to use reply downvoting. Downvotes aren’t public, but they’ll help inform us of the content people want to see.

The social network began the test in the iOS app back in July of last year, with the company explaining then that the results would be purely for the company’s own use.

Downvotes will not be shown publicly, while upvotes will be shown as likes, the company says, implying that the feature is only intended for internal metrics. According to Twitter, the goal of this new test is to “understand the types of replies you find relevant” in a conversation. 

While there was some appreciation for the fact that downvotes would not be visible – the last thing Twitter needs is more ways for people to be rude to each other – there were also objections to the whole idea of downvoting.

The downvote option is only available for replies to tweets, not to the original tweet.

Separately, the company is testing Facebook-like Reactions, which will be visible.

This feature, which started being tested a couple of months ago, is set to launch soon, as Owji was able to find references to that in Twitter’s code.

With four new reactions, “tears of joy,” “thinking face,” “clapping hands,” and “crying face,” this feature is designed to give users the ability to better show how conversations make them feel, and to give users “a better understanding of how their Tweets are received.”

Meantime, we’re no closer to getting the one Twitter feature everyone does want: an edit button. Jack Dorsey said way back in 2016 that it was “definitely needed,” but since then has given a whole bunch of updates ranging from “It’s complicated” through “Maybe we’ll allow clarification” to “Pay us money and we’ll give you an Undo button instead.” Twitter, all we want is a way to correct the typo we made five seconds ago …

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