It appears Twitter’s currently testing a new way for people to show support or distaste for tweets. This week, Twitter revealed it’s testing an upvote and downvote button that may work like Reddit’s ranking system.
Twitter’s testing upvotes and downvotes right now
Twitter’s support team did confirm that it’s trying out upvotes and downvotes for tweets, saying that some iOS users might see the option to upvote or downvote tweets. However, the up and down votes won’t be public, so participants and their followers won’t see the number of likes or dislikes on tweets during the test. The buttons appear as a thumbs up and thumbs down.
We don’t know how many users are a part of the test, but a Twitter spokesperson said it’s a part of a “small research experiment,” so we imagine the number of users with the ability to use the upvotes and downvotes is small.
How will this affect comments on Twitter?
While this experiment isn’t publicly ranking comments, some believe Twitter will eventually adopt a Reddit-style system for judging the popularity of tweets. There are some apparent pros and cons to adopting a Reddit-style ranking approach to tweets on Twitter. Typically, ranking systems promote a more positive experience. People see tweets that are popular and liked by the community, making it harder for trolling comments to gain notoriety and make it into the top of the comment section.
However, like and dislike buttons that rank replies also could push down comments with constructive criticism that isn’t popular with the community but is still in good faith. Doing this will make it harder for disagreement and discourse around those disagreements. If only supportive comments are at the top, creators will have to look harder to find comments offering criticism that could help them improve or point out flaws.
Let us know what you think about the situation. Should Twitter add a like and dislike button or will it make it harder for people to express their opinions?