Twitter is Testing a Downvote Button

Twitter announced they are testing something called downvotes. The name of this potential feature is exactly the same as what Reddit uses to enable users to express dislike on a Reddit post. Twitter downvotes work differently than the ones on Reddit.

Twitter Support tweeted: “Some of you on iOS may see different options to up or down vote on replies. We’re testing this to understand the types of replies you find relevant in a convo, so we can work on ways to show more of them. Your downvotes aren’t public, while your upvotes will be shown as likes.”

A second tweet follows with “some key notes about this experiment”.

1 This is just a test for research right now.
2 This is not a dislike button.
3 Your downvotes are visible to you only.
4 Votes won’t change the order of replies.

9to5Mac reported that the test of the downvote button is only available on Twitter on iOS. There is no information on when or if this will be tested on Android or the Twitter website.

Based on images that Twitter posted in its Twitter Support tweet, there are at least three varieties of icons that are being tested. In one example, a “like” is a circle with an arrow pointing upward. Clicking that turns the circle green. A circle with a downward pointing arrow is a downvote. It turns red when clicked (and still shows the arrow). Numbers appear next to the “like”.

In another version, the “like” is a heart shape that turns red when clicked, and the downvote is a circle with an arrow pointing down that turns red when clicked. Numbers appear next to the “like”.

The third option takes its example from Facebook. The “like” button is a thumbs up that turns green when clicked. The downvote button is a thumbs down, that turns red when clicked. The thumbs up shows numbers next to it.

As 9to5Mac reported, this is a test, and none of the information is shown publicly. In other words, if someone responds to your tweet with a really bad take, or a completely unrelated one, you can downvote it. Only you will see the downvote. The invisible downvote is a good idea. Making it visible would likely cause people to get angry.

Keep in mind that Twitter stated that the test is to find out the types of replies that a specific users finds relevant in a conversation, so Twitter can work on ways to show that user more of them. It’s not about which type of downvote button people prefer. It’s about Twitter finding a way to curate your experience based on what you tell it you don’t want to see.