Twitter has started a trial run in Turkey of its new emoji reaction feature that, well, lets people react. The experiment first cropped up back in June and now, it seems that the fever dream is closer to becoming a reality.
In addition to the usual “like” button, users will now see four other ways to react to a tweet: a thinking/confused emoji, a teary-eyed and sad emoji, one that’s cry-laughing, and a clapping emoji for cheering. The only emotion missing from the lineup, in earnest, is an angry emoji, much like the one from Facebook’s Reaction lineup.
Today, the Like is used to express a number of different emotions, from general support to disbelief. The Like is overloaded and does too many jobs, preventing people from expressing exactly how they feel in a lightweight way & Tweet authors from receiving nuanced feedback pic.twitter.com/hGl3uEubmD
— J (@jtwdesign) September 9, 2021
One of the designers of this new communication method justifies the development by saying that the “like” reaction is way too overburdened with covering a wide array of emotions from general support to disbelief. To narrow down the choices for this reaction set, Twitter looked at several data points including one-word replies, commonly-used emojis, and emotions on the platform that resonated across cultures.
It’s not just the angry face that’s missing; the reaction experiment excludes any sort of negative emotions — not counting the sad emoji, which carries the connotation of empathy rather than the potential vitriol that could come from a “dislike” button.
This isn’t the first time the social media giant has tested emoji reactions. Their first try was in 2015 when some users found that a developer had built the ability to react using a multitude of different emojis, including snooze, annoyed, and even the “100” emoji. This of course never got officially released, but it seems that the new focused set might actually have a chance of being implemented.