A dislike button has been one of the most requested features on Twitter for quite a while as a way to tell the service whether a tweet is relevant or not. Last year, Twitter’s product lead Kayvon Beykpour revealed that the company was considering adding a dislike button or a downvote system.
Today, Twitter announced that it's testing a downvote and upvote system for a small group of users on iOS. The new capability appears in a few different ways on top of the usual options to interact with a reply to a tweet. For some, the upvote and downvote buttons show up as up and down arrows, thumbs up and thumbs down, or a heart icon and a down arrow.
The micro-blogging platform said the new system is designed to gauge the types of tweet replies people like on Twitter. It also clarified that downvotes won't be shown to the public while upvotes will appear as likes. This means that downvotes won't trigger notifications and will be visible only to the user whose tweet reply is being downvoted. On the other hand, notifications for upvotes will show up in the Likes tab.
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.— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 21, 2021
Your downvotes aren’t public, while your upvotes will be shown as likes. pic.twitter.com/hrBfrKQdcY
Contrary to popular assumption, however, Twitter's new experimental system isn't quite similar to a dislike button. The company said that the test is only part of its research to determine what type of reply seems to be irrelevant to a conversation.
Votes will also not affect the order of replies. Unlike in Reddit where votes alter the position of replies in a conversation, Twitter's implementation does not have the same impact on tweet replies. That said, this isn't the only tweet interaction that Twitter has been testing; in May, the platform was spotted experimenting with tweet reactions.