Wait, wait – this is not what you think.
Some Twitter users got very excited early on when an example of up and down votes was posted on tweets, which seems to be that Twitter is considering the Reddit-style option of ranking tweets and replies.
But that’s not exactly what’s happening here.
We asked Twitter what was going on and whether it was legal, and Twitter explained that it was actually part of a new, small-scale research experiment to learn what answers people find most important during in-app conversations.
As on Twitter:
“We hope to better understand what people think are relevant answers, and how they match what Twitter suggests as the relevant answers under a Tweet. ‘
Twitter further explains the test here:
Some of you on iOS may see different options for voting on or off answers. We test it to understand the types of answers you find relevant in a conference, so we can work on ways to show more of them.
Your votes are not public, while your votes are displayed as preferences. pic.twitter.com/hrBfrKQdcY
– Twitter Support (@ Twitter Twitter) 21 July 2021
The most important element is that voting and voting will not be public – and even more so, it will not actually affect the ranking of individual answers, neither now nor in the future.
The idea is that Twitter uses the answers of this test to get a better idea of what people like in answers and what they do not like. If a bunch of tweets with one-word answers get a lot of votes, Twitter might be able to display its comments in the future to rank these answers lower in the chain.
As such, it is not a voice of endorsement or disapproval of each individual statement and remark, it is a ranking to see what species of the comments that people like and do not.
So, sorry to make you hope, but Twitter is not testing the options to judge the position of tweet.
That’s not to say it’s never going to happen – Twitter has experimented internally with different types of voting and tuning options, and emoji reactions to enlarge your reaction set.
But this test is specifically not what you would think.
But it’s still interesting, whatever it is, and could play a role in the ranking of tweets. And maybe, on Twitter, your tweets will one day come up and vote, which may be a better way to highlight the most relevant, engaging comments.
But I will not bet on it.