Twitter Emoji ReactSource: @wongmjane

What you need to know

  • There might be a big new update coming to Twitter.
  • Reverse-engineering has revealed code for emoji reactions to Twitter.
  • There's no indication as to when we might get to see the rollout.

Reverse-engineering of Twitter's code has revealed the platform might be working on a brand new feature, emoji responses to Tweets.

Jane Manchun Wong revealed her latest find on Twitter overnight stating:

Twitter is working on Tweet Reactions…?

As you can see from Jane's screenshot, the feature seems to be embedded in the submenu alongside 'Retweet' and 'Retweet with comment'. One designer commented that the move would be "transformative across the whole product."

The exact implementation is a little less clear, for example, it's not known how Twitter would demonstrate emoji reactions or display them on tweets. As noted by SocialMediaToday Twitter dabbled in emoji reactions in 2015, offering them as an alternative option to the heart emoji. It also tested different formats but none of them ended up being released. As that report notes, not everyone might consider emoji reactions to be a positive move:

But it would be a significant shift. Twitter is predicated on short, sharp responses and engagement, and while only being able to 'heart' a tweet could seem a little restrictive, the general view is that the lack of Reaction-type options likely prompts more users to actually engage with tweets, and share their own thoughts. And because tweets are so short, quick reaction emojis probably aren't necessary anyway.

It could well be that once/if Twitter were to introduce emojis reactions, it might turn out to be the best thing since sliced bread. Currently, Twitter only offers the heart as a way to quickly react to a tweet, which means you can only respond quickly and show support if you agree with a tweet, if you disagree with a tweet or want to show any kind of disapproval then you have to leave a comment or retweet the message to put your own views out there. Does this make Twitter imbalanced towards a more negative narrative? It's certainly an interesting thought.

Would you be interested in more emoji reactions on Twitter?