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Twitter is testing emoji reactions for tweets

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When a simple Like isn’t enough

Image: Twitter

Twitter is testing emoji reactions for tweets that go beyond a simple “Like,” the company announced today. So, over the coming days, users in Turkey will be able to respond to tweets with the “Face with tears of joy” emoji, “Thinking face,” “Clapping hands,” “Crying face,” or a simple “Heart.” The test is only scheduled to run for a limited time, but Twitter says it might expand it to users in more countries depending on the response.

The idea behind the feature is to give people more ways to quickly show how they feel about a tweet, Twitter says, while providing authors better feedback about how their tweet has been received. The emoji are accessible via a long-press of the Like button, while a short tap will send a regular Like. Rumors of the test emerged earlier this year after users reported being surveyed about potential emoji for inclusion.

Reactions will appear below tweets in Twitter’s feed.
Image: Twitter

Emoji reactions have been available for years on other services like Facebook, as well as on Twitter itself within direct messages. But what’s interesting about Twitter’s emoji choices for its latest test is that none of them are especially negative. There’s no “Angry face” like you’ll find on Facebook, or “Thumbs down” like in Twitter’s direct message emoji reactions.

Twitter explains that it decided against choosing these negative emoji because people it surveyed said “they were concerned about receiving negative reactions to some of their thoughts.” A valid concern given how toxic many conversations on Twitter can be.

Meanwhile, the emoji it has included earned their spots by being representative of the most common emotions people experience while reading tweets, as well as being “universally recognizable.” That probably explains why the incredibly passive aggressive “Slightly smiling face” emoji didn’t make the cut.

If you’re in Turkey and want to give the new reactions a go, Twitter says the feature is rolling out over the coming days in the country. The test will be available on iOS, Android, and the web.