If you’ve ever wanted to tune out the trolls that are wreaking idiocy under a heated Twitter thread, this might be your best bet: Twitter is testing upvote and downvote reaction buttons beside the traditional options to reply and retweet.
In a tweet sent out on Thursday, the micro-blogging site confirms that the feature is currently being tested on a small group of iOS users in a bid “to understand the types of replies you find relevant in a conversation.” Users who can access the experimental feature may see it in several different appearances and formats, including an arrow pointing upwards and downwards, or a set of “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” icons.
It also noted that since the trial is purely for research purposes only, the number of downvotes will only be visible to the tweet author and that downvotes won’t change the sequence of the replies in a thread.
According to Twitter user researcher Cody Elam via TechCrunch, past studies have determined that users favored replies that were informative, supportive, positive, and funny were the “best” types of replies. However, these were often buried deep in the replies thread, a perennial issue which Twitter’s experimental feature hopes to solve in the future.
While faithful Twitter users are seeing the prospective feature for the first time, Reddit users might be more familiar with being able to rate a response. Within the social website, users can vote for or against a comment, with the most upvoted comments showing first, while the most downvoted comments are “bumped down” if not removed altogether.
What’s more, Reddit actually acknowledged the trial, responding with a gif that simply said “interesting.”
This isn’t the first time that Twitter has tried to introduce more insightful engagements among its users. Earlier this year, Twitter also toyed with emoji reactions that mimic what Facebook has been doing on its platform.
Would you like to be able to upvote or downvote certain tweets?