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Twitter test votes on tweets

Twitter test votes on tweets

Facebook gives you a series of icons that show how you like a post; including: like, love, care, haha, wow, sad and angry.

LinkedIn takes a similar approach where the response icons are: like, celebrate, support, love, insightful and curious.

Reddit has arrow-shaped up and down icons, TikTok and Instagram keep things simple with a heart button, and YouTube has a similar and non-icon on their videos.

Now, Twitter has announced that they are experimenting with an up and down voting feature on its platform, which is only available for responding to tweets.

The experiment also only takes place on iOS:


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Some of you on iOS may see different options for up or down voting on answers. We test this to understand the types of answers you find relevant in a convo, so we can work on ways to show more of them.

Your votes are not public, while your votes are displayed as likes.

– Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 21, 2021

The supporting images showed the function as an up and down arrow, an icon with thumb up and thumb down and just an arrow down.

The tweet was followed with additional information from Twitter Support, which confirmed that:

This is for research purposes ‘right now’. It does not qualify as a ‘dislike’ button. Only you will see your vote. The order of your answers will not be affected.


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When further questioned in the comment sections, Twitter reiterated that it should not be seen as a ‘dislike’ button:

This is not a button that does not like. In this research experiment, the thumb icon is a downturn that tells us that you think the answer is not relevant to the conversation. We want to better understand the types of responses you make and do not find relevant in a convoy.

– Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 21, 2021

Twitter specified that the experiment is to inform the platform about the relevance of the conversations that stem from tweets.

Additional insight from a user researcher on Twitter

Cody Elam, whose profile says he is a user researcher on Twitter, retweeted the post and followed it up with more information in the thread:

Today we are launching an experiment to vote in answers – a way to give us feedback on which answers you find most relevant.

How did research and exploration get us here? ⬇️

– Cody Elam (@codyelam) July 21, 2021

Comments in the thread specified that previous research has highlighted that responses that are informative, supportive, positive, and funny were considered the best types of responses to tweets.

According to the researcher, this latest research method aims to allow people to express their opinion on the quality of responses privately, giving Twitter more ‘nuanced feedback’ without ‘publicly embarrassing others’.


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Research will also determine if this feature is valuable to users.

His last thread reads as:

“As a researcher, this experiment is a great opportunity to learn about the ways we can improve conversation placement on Twitter.

We look forward to understanding how answer voting can improve conversations on Twitter! ”

Responses from Twitter users

As I scrolled through some of the answers in the thread, there were several comments from users who expressed concern that this would make the platform more toxic and have the potential for abuse.

The focus of the users seems to be on the downvote aspect rather than the upvote function, although the upvotes will be visible and essentially act as a ‘like’.


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Additionally, comments seem to be asking that Twitter look for approaches to bringing the platform more positive.

There were also quite a few comments asking Twitter to implement an edit button, so it will be interesting to know if that makes it to the research results.

The initial tweet from Twitter did not indicate an end date for the experiment, and it will be interesting to see in the light of the responses whether this is an experiment that will result in the feature being rolled out or not.

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YouTube test hides non-counting on videos


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Sources: Tech Crunch

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