Other than some developer tests, Twitter has only ever offered you one way to react to tweets: the classic heart "Like" emoji and prior to 2015, the "Favorite" star button. Now, the social media network might be finally expanding that range as it's testing a new feature called "Reactions" with additional emoji over the coming days.
In Turkey only for a limited time, the company is testing four new emojis on top of the heart icon: 😂, 🤔, 👏 and 😢, aka "tears of joy," "thinking face," "clapping hands" and "crying face." Back in 2015, Twitter tested a wider variety including the the "100," "heart eyes" and other emoji. However, this time it wanted to "find emoji that are universally recognizable and represent what people want to express about Tweets," the company said.
Twitter narrowed it down to those additional four after conducting surveys and researching what the most common words and emoji are in Tweets. It found that the most popular one is the laughing emoji, and that people want to express reactions centered around "funny," "support/cheer," "agreement" and "awesome." It also identified "entertained" and "curious" as the top emotions people feel when reading tweets.
Its surveys also revealed that "frustration" and "anger" were common emotions experienced by users. While some people wanted to express disagreement with Tweets, the company decided not to incorporate that. Rather, it's trying to see if the new, more positive emoji will drive "healthy public conversations." It's also likely related to the high levels of polarization and toxicity on the site, something that Twitter has been keen to reduce over the past several years.
More specifically, Twitter said that reactions will help people better show how they feel in conversations "while also giving those Tweeting a better understanding of how their Tweets are received." The new reactions will be available in Turkey only for a limited time on Twitter for iOS, Android and the web over the coming days. However, it added that "based on this test, we may expand the availability of the Reactions experiment to other regions."