Express Yourself: Twitter Testing Out Emoji Reaction Buttons
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Emojis are having a moment. Not only is the "tears of joy" emoji Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year, but major social networks are embracing these tiny, expressive icons as more nuanced ways to react to the news on your feed.
It seems that Twitter may be testing emoji-based reactions to tweets. So, soon, you may see all sorts of angry, happy and shocked faces throughout your Twitter feed. This discovery came after a user found emoji-reaction button options being tested in the developer aspect of Twitter's iOS app, according to Recode.
I can't believe they're finally letting me ? tweets (The best part is that it's not even a joke, I just found this…) pic.twitter.com/cyJ6Lmfhgx— Ninji, infamous dog (@_Ninji) November 16, 2015
However, when Casey Newton, an editor at The Verge asked for comment on the subject, the company’s response was, while adorable, not super forthcoming:
I asked Twitter for comment about emoji reactions and this is their literal statement, in full: ?— Casey Newton (@CaseyNewton) November 16, 2015
This is just the latest move by Twitter to overhaul its user-communication strategy. Earlier this month, the company did away with the yellow star "favorite" button in favor of a pink heart-shaped "like" button. In a blog post rolling out the new feature, the embattled social platform said the change was a result of wanting to make the Twitter experience less confusing to new users.
Of the updated feature, the company explained that "you might like a lot of things, but not everything can be your favorite. The heart, in contrast, is a universal symbol that resonates across languages, cultures and time zones. The heart is more expressive, enabling you to convey a range of emotions and easily connect with people."
Related: Tell Us: How Much Do You Hate Twitter's Decision to Swap the Star Button for a Heart?
Now Twitter is saying that users <3 the hearts, (which incidentally, are animated to cheerfully spout glitter when you 'like' something). At San Francisco's Open Mobile Summit this week, Kevin Weil, Twitter's SVP of Product said that one week into the change, the company noted a 6 percent increase in users liking tweets over favorites.
Twitter isn't the only major platform to experiment with emojis and icons. Last month, Facebook started testing out a range of options to possibly join its thumbs up like button and in lieu of a dislike button. The reactions include a button that is a white heart in a pink background, and five expressive faces that are meant to convey "angry," "haha," "sad," "wow" and "yay."
Related: Forget a 'Dislike' Button. Facebook Is Testing Cute Emoji 'Reactions' Instead.