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Twitter launches emoji reactions for direct messages

Twitter has announced the launch of its new Reactions-like option in direct messages, which enables users to allocate a simple emoji response to any message within a thread.

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."

Twitter user @jimin_toenail shared an example of the new option in action.

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.

The option was first spotted in testing by reverse engineering pro Jane Manchun Wong back in October, and looks largely the same as it did then, though the emojis included have been updated.

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.

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