Twitter’s new ‘DOWNVOTE’ feature- 3 things you need to know

When you open a post on Twitter, you might get the message about reply downvotes:

Following are five things you should know about this new feature: 

1. Tap to downvote

As per Twitter, if you see a reply that isn’t adding to the conversation, you can let them know by downvoting.

Introduced back in July 2021, this feature was added for experimenting. Twitter clarified then that it is not a dislike button. The thumbs down icon is a down vote that lets us know that you think the reply isn’t relevant to the conversation. We want to better understand the types of replies you do and don’t find relevant in a convo.

The option to downvote was initially given to a select group of web users, but Twitter announced then it would be soon expanding the feature to iOS and Android users as well. 

2. Downvotes are private

Your downvotes are visible to you only and votes won’t change the order of replies. It isn’t shared with the Tweet author or others on the timeline.

Cody Elam, User Researcher @Twitter wrote in a thread that this feature gives people the power to privately voice their opinion on the quality of replies without publicly shaming others while also giving Twitter more nuanced feedback.

Since the new feature is private, its usefulness to marketers is unknown. Had it allowed the author to see the downvotes, it would have given unique opportunities to the brands and marketers to test some of their new products and measure the effectiveness of campaigns and messaging in a concrete and precise way.

3. This feature isn’t new to social media

Reditt and YouTube have it already. Youtube had introduced it long back and now in fact has made the vote count private. 

Writing on this feature on Reddit, Neil Patel, a well know digital Marketer and an entrepreneur, writes

 On Reddit (a massive online forum where people can share and comment on content), users can vote for topics or replies to questions to help boost the most relevant content and trends.

For example:
Think someone’s comment answers the OP’s query the best? Hit the thumbs-up button to boost it higher.
Think another user’s reply is spammy or a troll? Click the thumbs-down button to move it further down the page.

With an average of 830,000 posts a day, the site doesn’t solely rely on the algorithm to keep users entertained. The voting system democratizes the process and helps people discover a range of interesting content and key trends.

Facebook doesn’t have this feature though users have the option to ‘react with emojis.’ The emoji tray has seven options and lacks the thumbs down emoji. Users, if they at all want to react, can use the angry emoji. LinkedIn does not include angry or downvote reactions.

VerveTimes writes that downvotes and dislikes are a simple way for users to give feedback on online content, but they can also be problematic. They can be used in campaigns of targeted harassment, for example, and if they became part of Twitter’s algorithm they could be used to silence dissenting opinion.


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