Twitter has been on an development tear of late, with a number of small but important changes to its platform rolling out over the last few months. This morning, it flipped the switch on a new enhancement – you can now add emoji reactions to Direct Message chats.
This is actually a small but important change, bringing Twitter’s DM chats into line with other messaging platforms that offer similar features. Now, instead of typing a reply to a message you can confirm it with a couple of taps.
It all goes back to Facebook’s introduction of alternatives to “Like” for posts (also called reactions) a while back, allowing users to express a wider gamut of reactions (so you didn’t have to “Like” someone’s bad news). That soon rolled out into Messenger, Apple adopted it in iMessage, and it’s becoming a standard that users are comfortable using across multiple platforms and chat clients — so much so, that it’s become annoying when a platform DOESN’T support it.
Twitter’s using seven emoji reactions, just in case you thought maybe there’d be some consistency between platforms – a laugh, a wow, a cry, a heart, a burn/flame/fire, and a thumb up or down. You can apply the reaction by double-tapping a message, or there’s a convenient heart+ icon attached to the last message in a DM chat. We’ve seen the feature on Android, Twitter’s web app and on something called “iOS” in the last hour or so.
It’s nice to see Twitter putting some more effort into evolving its platform. Direct Message chats are now distinctly different from the main Twitter experience with a dedicated search function, no message length limits and now reactions. What’s next?