Twitter is to trial the introduction of up and down votes on comments for some iOS users as a part of research to help the platform ‘understand the type of replies you find relevant’.
The voting buttons may appear in the form of thumbs or arrows according to a graphic shared by Twitter. The social media company has said that downvotes will not be visible to other users and will not change the order of replies, while upvotes will continue to be shown as likes.
Despite introducing down voting as part of the trial, Twitter has made it explicitly clear that it ‘is not a dislike button’.
In a thread providing more contextual information about the trial, Cody Elam, a user researcher at Twitter, noted that it would give ‘people the power to privately voice their opinion on the quality of replies without publicly shaming others while also giving us more nuanced feedback’.
Up votes and down votes are a mainstay of many different sites, including Imgur and Reddit, with parallels being drawn between the latter site and Twitter’s implementation of the feature.
In response to Twitter’s announcement of the trial, the official Reddit Twitter account tweeted a popular meme from the Nickelodeon show iCarly.
Twitter’s research into introducing a feature for up and down votes was alluded to in 2020 by Product Lead Kayvon Beykpour, who tweeted in response to a user that it was ‘something we’re exploring’.