In context: Twitter has long been known as a social network and was once seen as Facebook’s big rival, yet the service considers itself more of a news-focused site. But a potential upcoming feature is a tried and tested staple of social media: emoji reactions.
In 2016, Twitter changed its App Store category from Social Network to News, helping it move out of the shadow of Mark Zuckerberg’s company and its billion+ userbase. Twitter has, however, introduced social media-style designs, such as its switch from stars to hearts (its ‘Likes’) and increasing the tweet character length.
Last year, research engineer Jane Manchun Wong discovered that Twitter appeared to be moving even closer to Facebook by testing emoji reactions. The company said it wasn’t currently working on such a feature, but it hasn’t been killed off.
The last month has seen Twitter send out surveys to users, asking them to choose between several emoji reaction sets. These consist of Like, Funny, Interesting, Sad, Awesome, Agree, and Disagree.
Image credit: WFBrother on Twitter
Only the last three reactions differ in each of the three sets. The Awesome reaction could end up being an open-mouthed shocked face or a fire emoji, while Agree and Disagree could be Yes/No buttons, thumbs up/thumbs down, or Reddit-style upvote/downvote icons.
There’s also another set of reactions that swap Agree and Disagree for Support and Angry.
Survey participants were asked about their feelings toward a Disagree button, such as whether they’d use it instead of replying to a tweet or to downvote offensive and irrelevant tweets.
Twitter also wants to know how someone would feel if one of their tweets received a negative reaction. Possible answers include tweeting less, appreciate the feedback and using it constructively, or feeling judged and uncomfortable.
“We’re exploring additional ways for people to express themselves in conversations happening on Twitter,” a company spokesperson told Techcrunch.