Twitter has announced the launch of its new Reactions-like option in direct messages, which enables users to allocate a quick emoji response to any message within a thread.
Say more with new emoji reactions for Direct Messages!— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) January 22, 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
As explained by Twitter:
"It’s quick and easy to add an emoji reaction 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. You can undo a reaction at any time and it will be removed from the message for all participants. Click or tap on a reaction in a conversation to view who reacted to the message. Additionally, all conversation participants will receive a notification any time a new reaction is added to a message."
Given the availability of similar tools on other messaging platforms, it makes sense for Twitter to move in-step, tapping into habitual messaging behavior in order to facilitate more engagement.
Twitter is testing DM Reactions pic.twitter.com/Ihp7hsnaOH— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) October 16, 2019
As you can by comparing this example, the 'heart eyes' emoji didn't make the final cut, while the thumbs up and thumbs down responses have been added.
Twitter has previously tested reaction emojis within tweets themselves, but the feature never reached a proper roll-out - though the use of emojis on the platform has steadily increased over time, another motivating factor this update. And given Twitter's renewed focus on direct messaging of late, it makes sense for the platform to be looking at new additions to further enhance the experience.
Twitter does also note that if people are using an older version of the app (iOS or Android) which doesn’t support message reactions, they'll see reactions displayed as text-based messages.
It could be another way to build connection through your messages, or simply to quickly signify that you've read a note.