What’s up with the latest Twitter emojis update?
But then, of course, the change wasn’t designed with regular users in mind. The social microblogging company made the change in order to boost the platform’s appeal to new users, based on the fact that the heart emoji is the most used across Twitter and is a more universally recognised symbol. Twitter supported this further last week, saying that the heart is already being used more than the star was, justifying their logic (though it’s very early days and much of that response is likely driven by novelty value).
Still, if you’re still feeling stung by the change, there may be an offering on the horizon that could ease your troubles when deciding whether to click on that icon or not. Much like Facebook is doing with their new emoji response functionality ‘Reactions’, Twitter is reportedly experimenting with a new emoji response mechanism that would enable users to choose their own reaction to a post. No longer would you have to use the ‘heart’ to signal your appreciation, you may soon be able to use one of 36 different icons to convey your emotional response to a tweet.
The new option is currently in ‘pre-user testing’ mode. As you can see here, there appear to be 12 options per page, and three pages, giving the user 36 potential emoji to use to respond to a tweet. @_Ninji noted that once selected, the emoji response replaces the ‘heart’ symbol on the tweet.
One of the more interesting wrinkles of this plan would be the amount of data Twitter could glean from the application of such responses. Twitter’s been pushing to increase the value of their data of late, yet they’re somewhat challenged in this regard due to the fact that virtually all of their information and insight is posted publicly, therefore freely available to anyone who wants to track it. This makes it harder for Twitter to generate significant profit from their data options – while Facebook and LinkedIn, for example – have built in their networks, and thus restricted access to their valuable audience insights, Twitter has, by design, gone the opposite direction. This means that Twitter has effectively reduced the potential value of their data – though, the counter to that is that Twitter wouldn’t exist if they’d taken any other approach.
Given the trend and the evidence found here (including the suggestive statement from Twitter), it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see this functionality rolled out for testing sometime in the near future. Seasoned Twitter users will probably hate it – but as with the heart, it’s not all about them.