Twitter is considering implementing a change that will have a significant effect on how users engage with content – the addition of emoji reaction options, similar to that on rival social network Facebook.
Twitter’s Chief Design Officer Dantley Davis hinted at this in a cryptic response to a tweet two weeks ago that proposed having five or six reaction options:
I’m starting to think Twitter should go the way of LinkedIn and Facebook and offer several reaction emojis rather than just a heart. I like having the option of 5 or 6, even though that still won’t account for everything.
Use an emoji to react to this tweet & let’s test it out.
— Arlan 👊🏾 (@ArlanWasHere) March 18, 2021
Now, TechCrunch* reports that Twitter is indeed considering this, with a spokesperson commenting that:
“We’re exploring additional ways for people to express themselves in conversations happening on Twitter.”
It appears that the social media giant has been surveying its users throughout March, seeking their feedback on having a set of Facebook-style emoji reactions. The survey presented various sets of proposed reactions, which all included a heart, crying face, crying with laughter face and a thinking face, representing ‘like’, ‘sad’, ‘funny’ and ‘interesting’ reactions, respectively. It also presented emoji choices for ‘awesome’, ‘agree’ and ‘disagree’ reacts, as is shown in the screenshots from Twitter user @WFBrother:
— ㆅ (@WFBrother) March 24, 2021
Along with presenting users with different emoji options, the survey also asked users how they would feel about the new reactions, asking questions such as how they would take advantage of a dislike button and whether they would be discouraged from tweeting if their own tweets were disliked.
The implementation of these reaction buttons could massively change the way users engage with content on Twitter. With more options than simply ‘like’ and ‘retweet’ in their arsenal, users may be encouraged to react to tweets they would have previously scrolled past, and more reactions could result in an increased reach for businesses and regular users alike. It could also result in users of Facebook and LinkedIn, for example, which both have multiple emoji reaction options, moving over to Twitter when presented with more familiar features.
TechCrunch reports that Twitter is currently only in the exploratory stage of adding this option, but Davis’ tweet certainly implies that these new reactions will be in place at some point in the future.
Businesses should look to establish a presence on Twitter ahead of this change, and the boost to engagement that these reactions could bring. To have a chat about building a social media presence for your brand, have a chat with our team at Engage Web.