Twitter expands dislike button test globally

Tested for a few months on the sly on iOS, the “dislike” button on Twitter will be offered to a greater number of users. A revolution for the social network?

The history of social networks is intimately linked to that of the “like” button. As it turns 18, Facebook has greatly popularized its use and many sites have integrated it. From the thumbs up of Facebook, LinkedIn or YouTube to the little red heart of Instagram, TikTok or Twitter, everyone finds their account. On the other hand, the “I don’t like” (or dislike) button is not as popular. YouTube remains one of the few platforms to have such an option. The Google service has also ended up no longer displaying the number of “thumbs down”. On the other hand, the use of the “like” button is strongly criticized.

Meanwhile, Twitter decided in the summer of 2021 to add “up” and “down” voting buttons. Offered on iOS by a handful of users, the feature is above all an opportunity to test a “dislike” button on a network where there are many offensive and hateful messages. “We are testing this option to understand the types of responses that [les utilisateurs] find relevant in a conversation, so we can work on ways to display them more”specified Twitter last July.

After a few months of discreet testing, the blue bird is moving on to the next stage. He announces that the “dislike” button test is starting to be rolled out globally. “We’ve learned a lot about the types of answers you don’t find relevant and we’re expanding this test – more of you on the web and soon on iOS and Android will have the ability to downvote in answers »indicates the social network.

“Negative” vote on the “dislike” button? Twitter’s take on the matter

In its announcement, Twitter is careful not to speak of a “dislike” button and prefers to mention a “downvoting” action. This “negative” or “positive” voting system is present on Reddit, with an up or down arrow to express your opinion. As in its first test, the social network announces that negative votes “are not public”. They must help the platform “knowing what content people want to see”.

The functionality comes in different forms. Some users are entitled to ‘up’ and ‘down’ voting buttons, while others are only entitled to a negative (down arrow) button next to the like (heart) option. A third variation features thumbs up or thumbs down. The social network does not specify which form was chosen for its test on a global scale.

Take inspiration from Reddit rather than Facebook

Twitter states that many users “clicked the down arrow…because the answer was perceived as offensive, or because they perceived it as irrelevant, or both”. The firm adds that this feature has become the most used way for users to report content they do not want to see. A success according to Twitter which could add one of Reddit’s top options.

Another social network, Facebook, also decided to try the experiment in 2018 after several years of hesitation. Mark Zuckerberg’s platform finally gave up to focus on feedback.

Others like Instagram have chosen to hide likes to protect their users and reduce a form of pressure. The initiative is aimed in particular at the youngest users of Meta’s other social network.

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