Twitter could make one of the biggest changes to its user interface in its history with Facebook-style emoji reactions for tweets.
The social network is working on five possible reactions to tweets – ‘Likes’, ‘Cheer’, ‘Hmm’, ‘Sad’ and ‘Haha’ – to complement the existing retweet capability, according to Hong Kong-based app researcher and tipster Jane Manchun Wong.
Currently, Twitter users are only able to click the heart icon to ‘like’ and indicate their endorsement of a tweet, as well as clicking retweet.
Wong tweeted a screenshot of what the five options could look like, although three feature the same placeholder red heart emoji, suggesting the emoji themselves are yet to be finalised.
‘The icons for the Cheer and Sad reactions are WIP [works in progress] and shown as the generic heart one at the moment,’ said Wong.
In response to a request for comment, a Twitter spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘We’re always exploring additional ways for people to express themselves in conversations happening on Twitter.’
Twitter, which tends to be very tight-lipped on any upcoming features in development, wouldn’t confirm or deny the change.
It’s possible Facebook-style emoji reactions are indeed in development at Twitter but would never be rolled out.
Twitter is also working on Twitter Blue, a monthly subscription service for £2.49 or $2.99.
Twitter could make one of the biggest changes to its user interface in its history with Facebook-style emoji reactions, according to app researcher and tipster Jane Manchun (stock image)
WILL AN EDIT BUTTON COME TO TWITTER?
When asked in January last year if the edit button would be introduced in 2020, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey simply replied: ‘The answer is no’.
In an interview with Wired, Dorsey said at the time: The reason there’s no edit button [and] there hasn’t been an edit button traditionally is we started as an SMS text messaging service.
‘So as you all know, when you send a text, you can’t really take it back. We wanted to preserve that vibe and that feeling in the early days.’
Dorsey has previously said two types of editing were under consideration.
One would give users a brief window of time after the post was sent – five minutes, for example – to make any corrections.
The other would work in a similar way to Facebook’s editing feature, allowing allows users to amend what they wrote at any time, but with a log of the changes visible.
Facebook-style reaction emojis seemed to be a controversial idea – in response to Wong’s tweet, one user, @mauroleocadio_, said: ‘I HATE the haha reaction ’cause it can be used for bullying and making fun of important topics.
‘We see this on Facebook, we’ll see this here too now… don’t pollute Twitter.’
Another user, @tripti_bakshiBP, simply tweeted: ‘We don’t need another facebook wtf.’
Another user, @PepeVk, suggested Twitter would be better off introducing the ability to dislike a tweet, to complement the existing ‘like’ heart, to give a general indication of how controversial a tweet is.
‘The only way you can tell if a tweet is controversial is when it has more ‘quoted tweets’ than likes, or by reading the comments themselves,’ @PepeVk said.
Another user seemed to applaud the potential change – ‘they need to add more reactions on twitter spaces,’ said @linusbeardstan.
Meanwhile, @K28Mads said: ‘We just want folders for bookmarks and an edit button.’
An edit button is Twitter’s most requested feature, but the platform doesn’t seem to be yielding to user demands any time soon.
One of the potential problems with letting users edit their tweets is the possibility that they could completely change the content of their post once it’s been heavily endorsed by millions of likes and retweets.
Many people who have only recently signed up to Twitter won’t know that it already made a substantial – and at the time controversial – change to tweet reactions.
User reactions to the idea of Facebook-style reaction emojis on Twitter was generally negative
In November 2015, it switched the favourite symbol from a star to a heart – a ‘universal symbol that resonates across languages, cultures and time zones’, it said.
‘We are changing our star icon for favourites to a heart and we’ll be calling them likes,’ Twitter product manager Akarshan Kumar said at the time.
‘We want to make Twitter easier and more rewarding to use, and we know that at times the star could be confusing, especially to newcomers.’
Facebook rolled out its range of reaction emoji for users – Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry – in November 2015
It added the ‘Care’ react – a face hugging a heart – during the Covid pandemic
Users initially seemed to hate the change – one said: ‘Why are there love hearts everywhere Twitter? It’s like Hello Kitty threw up in here.’
Shortly after, in February 2016, Facebook rolled out its reactions emoji – Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry.
The emojis allow users to respond with a greater range of emotions to other people’s statuses and comments. Previously users could only ‘Like’ a Facebook post with a thumbs up.
In April 2020, Facebook introduced an additional seventh ‘Care’ emoji reaction, showing a face hugging a heart, to let users show support during the coronavirus pandemic.
Last week, Twitter appeared to have mistakenly confirmed its plans to launch a new subscription service, called Twitter Blue.
Twitter appears to have mistakenly confirmed its plans to launch a new subscription tier called Twitter Blue. Twitter Blue now appears as a possible in-app purchase when viewing the Twitter app in the iOS App Store
Twitter Blue now appears as a possible in-app purchase when viewing the Twitter app in Apple’s iOS App Store, listed at £2.49, or $2.99 – which is expected to be the monthly subscription price – as well as on Google’s app store for Android.
According to Wong, the service will include an ‘Undo Send’ timer, for users who have second thoughts about posting a tweet.
It’s expected Twitter users will have the option of signing up to Twitter Blue – those who aren’t interested will be able to keep using the standard version for free.
TWITTER BLUE: WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT TWITTER’S UPCOMING SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE
This leaked screenshot from Jane Manchun Wong shows Twitter’s description of Twitter Blue: ‘Take your Twitter experience to the next level with exclusive features
Twitter Blue is a rumoured subscription service from the social network. It’s yet to be confirmed by the company, but details have been leaked online.
At the end of May, Twitter listed Twitter Blue in app stores, suggesting users will soon be able to try it out.
Twitter Blue appeared as a possible in-app purchase when viewing the Twitter app in Apple’s iOS App Store, listed at £2.49, or $2.99 – which is expected to be the monthly subscription price – as well as on Google’s app store for Android.
However, Twitter Blue does not yet appear to be accessible inside the Twitter app, and it’s not known exactly when it will be available to users.
The social network has not yet commented on the in-app purchase listing of Twitter Blue or confirmed any plans around its testing or public rollout.
Twitter Blue is expected to give subscribers special exclusive features that non-paying users won’t get.
One of these features is an ‘Undo Send’ timer for tweets, according to Hong Kong-based app researcher and tipster Jane Manchun Wong.
Undo Send also previously leaked online in the form of an animation, showing a blue timer with the word ‘Undo’ that counts down after a user has tapped ‘post’.
Twitter previously confirmed to MailOnline that it is currently ‘testing’ Undo Send, but has since declined to provide any further details – including whether it’s part of Twitter Blue.
Twitter Blue will also include another feature called Collections, which will let users ‘save and organise favourite tweets’ into folders so they’re easier to find later, according to Wong, who claims to have tested Twitter Blue.
The subscription service also includes new customisable app colour schemes and the ability to customise the colour of the Twitter app icon, she claims.
Leaked screenshots from Wong reveal the Twitter Blue user interface and Twitter’s description of the service: ‘Take your Twitter experience to the next level with exclusive features’.
The screenshot also suggests the £2.49/$2.99 price will automatically be charged on a set date every month – ‘Auto renews monthly. Cancel anytime,’ it says.
It’s expected Twitter users will have the option of signing up to Twitter Blue – those that aren’t interested will be able to keep using the standard version for free.
Twitter wouldn’t offer comment in response to Twitter Blue being listed as an in-app purchase on the iOS and Android stores.