In a nutshell: There are plenty of areas where Twitter needs fixing, but the latest feature being added isn’t what you’d call a high priority. The platform is rolling out support for users to add Facebook/iMessage-like reactions to direct messages.
Research engineer Jane Manchun Wong, who is prolific when it comes to revealing social media features before their launch, discovered that Twitter was testing DM reactions last year, and now it’s coming to all users on the web, iOS, and Android.
Twitter is testing DM Reactions pic.twitter.com/Ihp7hsnaOH— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) 16 October 2019
The reactions are similar to what you’d find on Facebook, with laughing, shocked, sad, heart, and thumbs-up options. There's also a flame emoji and, instead of an angry face, Twitter has included a thumbs down.
Twitter’s Help Center site explains that the emoji reactions can easily be added to a Direct Message—both text and media attachments. “To add a reaction, hover over the message and click the reaction button (heart and plus icon), or double tap on the message and pick an emoji from the pop-up.”
Say more with new emoji reactions for Direct Messages!— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) 22 January 2020
To add a reaction, click the ❤️➕ icon that appears when you hover over the message on web or double tap the message on mobile and select an emoji from the pop-up.
For more about DM reactions: https://t.co/sdMumGDBYl https://t.co/QxMVmGt8eY
Users can undo reactions at any time, at which point they’ll be removed from the message for all participants. You can tap on a reaction to see who posted it, and all conversation participants receive a notification whenever a new reaction is added to a message. You can even add reactions to messages that have been sitting in your DMs for years.
If you happen to be using an older version of the iOS or Android Twitter app that doesn’t support message reactions, they will be displayed as text-based messages.
While some would argue that Twitter should be dealing with the trolls and bots populating the service, the Reactions feature will certainly be useful for those messages where you’d rather not give an actual reply.