A few months ago, Twitter started testing a new downvote button for replies in the hopes of improving the quality of discussions on the site. It instantly drew comparisons to Reddit, of course, since the latter has always had a system in place to allow readers to push comments they like higher or lower in the conversation.
Twitter initially began testing the feature in July 2021 only on iOS and that too, to a limited extent. The downvote button is restricted to replies and only the person pushing it can see it. The thumbs down is not visible to the author of the reply in question, neither is it publicly viewable.
We learned a lot about the types of replies you don't find relevant and we're expanding this test –– more of you on web and soon iOS and Android will have the option to use reply downvoting.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) February 3, 2022
The microblogging and social networking service has been very clear about the fact that the downvote button is not a dislike button. It does not even change the chronological order of replies to tweets. It has merely been added to allow Twitter to figure out the kind of conversations people find useful or relevant.
While announcing the expanded rollout of the feature on 4 February 2022, Twitter implied that the experiment has been successful so far since it has learned about the types of replies users find relevant. The company had released different options for the downvote button.
Users to whom this feature is visible may have come across different versions of the downvote and upvote options — a heart versus a downward pointing arrow, a thumbs up versus a thumbs down or a downward pointing arrow versus an upward pointing one.
Earlier this week, Twitter also expanded its one-time warning system to all Android and web users as well as some iOS devices. Users may now place a content warning on videos or photos they tweet, obscuring it from view so that people can choose whether or not to click on sensitive content.