Twitter, a social networking site launched in 2006, is undoubtedly one of the most popular social media platforms available today, with 100 million daily active users and 500 million tweets sent daily.
From receiving news to following high-profile celebrities, or for staying in-touch with old high school friends, twitter provides us all mandatory features.
But its popularity can be intimidating.
Fortunately, Twitter is incredibly easy to use.
Twitter saw explosive growth at the 2007 South By Southwest Interactive conference, during which more than 60,000 tweets were sent. The Twitter team took advantage of the conference to begin growing their user base.
Twitter began as an SMS-based platform, so the 140 character limit was initially simply a necessity — mobile carriers imposed the limit, not Twitter.
So basically, Twitter is a social media site, and its primary purpose is to connect people and allow people to share their thoughts with a big audience.
It allows users to discover stories regarding today’s biggest news and events, follow people or companies that post content they enjoy consuming, or simply communicate with friends.
Adding to which, PR team and marketers can also use Twitter to increase brand awareness and delight their audience.
Twitter announced earlier this year in June that it would start testing “downvoting” on replies. The experiment would let users downvote or upvote on replies but without the knowledge of the author and also the votes remain private ( just as youtube’s dislike button).
It looks like the downvoting test is getting bigger according to several users on Twitter.
Currently, Twitter is testing a downvote feature via a handful of iOS users, the platform announced Wednesday, and experts say they are eager to see how a possible rollout could affect the platform’s dynamics.
In it’s recent tweet Twitter said, “Some of you on iOS may see different options to up or down vote on replies. We’re testing this to understand the types of replies you find relevant in a convo, so we can work on ways to show more of them. Your downvotes aren’t public, while your upvotes will be shown as likes.”
On social media, many called the new feature a way to give users a “dislike” button. But Twitter said that’s not quite the purpose of this test.
In a statement to NBC News, Twitter said testing the up- and downvote feature is a way for the platform to try to understand if they’re showing people the best replies for them in a conversation.
“So, we’re running a small research experiment to learn what replies people find most relevant during conversations on Twitter,” a Twitter spokesperson said in an email. “We are hoping to better understand what people believe are relevant replies and how that matches up to what Twitter suggests as the most relevant replies under a Tweet.”
For now, the downvotes, which can’t be viewed by the public, will not impact the ranking of replies. While this experiment runs, the “like” button will be removed and instead users can click an “upvote” button.
The move could give users a new way to interact with tweets they find unhelpful or in poor taste. Twitter said it’s only using the feature for research at this time, but experts say they’re eager to see how the downvote button plays out and how it could shape the future of the platform should it see a wide, public release.
“My guess is that what they’re trying to do is give people a more clinical way of expressing their distaste for something on social media,” said Scott W. Campbell, chair of the communication and media department at the University of Michigan.
Campbell said although he was not familiar with Twitter’s announcement, his knee-jerk reaction to hearing about the test feature was that it could positively affect the site and its culture.
“Thumbs-down is better than [commenting], ‘Take a dirt nap,'” he said.
Campbell said he predicts the feature could have “massive unintended consequences.”
So there are two more parts to this experiment where one scenario lets you vote up or down on a reply with the arrow symbol, and the other with the thumbs up or down symbol. Twitter also confirmed that this isn’t a dislike button and upvoting or downvoting won’t change the order of replies. For now it looks like this upvote or downvote button won’t really have any effect on the conversation.
Twitter said the test is only for research purposes so we may not see it rolling out officially.