Like and dislikes can be a useful tool for services as well as users, as they can provide insights into trends and the general consensus. For instance, YouTube released its annual Rewind video in 2018, which quickly went to become the most disliked video on YouTube. This then resulted in YouTube adjusting the way the online video platform makes and packages its Rewind videos. Twitter is in the early stages of testing what is essentially a ‘dislike’ button on the platform. But its purpose is far different from the typical dislike options available on other platforms.
Still, it represents quite the change from the general move by other platforms as well as the social media in general. At the moment, it is not clear if the feature will actually become a permanent Twitter fixture in the future. Even if it does, it might remain the case that downvotes on Twitter are only applicable to replies and remain hidden from everyone else.
Technically, the social media platform states it “is not a dislike button” referring to it as a “downvoting” tool instead. Currently, Twitter is testing its “downvoting” button for some users on iOS. The micro-blogging platform is testing multiple different designs for this new feature, including upvote and downvote buttons.
Twitter and YouTube
When YouTube started testing the removal of the dislike button from videos, YouTube wasn’t actually removing a dislike button. Instead, the company hid the dislike count from view and that appears to be the case with Twitter as well. Twitter confirmed that registered downvotes aren’t visible to the general public. To put it another way, unlike likes, no one will see any of the downvotes made by someone else.
The purpose of the experiment conducted by the micro-blogging platform is to better understand what users prefer to see on the platform. The new feature won’t allow users to dislike a tweet. Instead, users will only be able to downvote a reply to a Tweet.