The “toxicity” of Twitter is a sore spot for many users and brands. Will the newest potential feature help the platform become a more positive place for everyone? We will have to wait and watch. Well, downvotes do alert the algorithm to spam, but trolls can abuse it to squash the useful information. And how will it affect social media marketing in India? Answers are to be found out.

Here’s what downvotes on Twitter mean to digital marketers and how you can prepare for it.


Twitter Downvotes: What You Need to Know?

On 21st June, Twitter had sent out a tweet that made the social media world into a frenzy.

“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.”

What does this indicate?

Twitter is coming up with the idea of introducing a feature that is similar to Reddit’s upvoting and downvoting system. The iOS users who are part of the test will see thumbs up and thumbs down icons. The others will see arrows pointing up or down.

The answer to “What does Twitter hope to gain from this experiment” was attempted by Cody Elam, a user researcher at Twitter. He mentions that; “In past research, we’ve learned which types of replies are considered best when reading conversations: Informative, supportive, positive, and funny. But some of the best replies don’t always surface quickly enough.

We’re testing a few approaches to allow people to upvote and downvote replies. This gives people the power to privately voice their opinion on the quality of replies without publicly shaming others while also giving us more nuanced feedback.”


What Are Downvotes on Social Media?

Let’s look into what are the downvotes on social media, and how are they used with these platforms?”

On Reddit, which is a massive online forum where people can share and comment on content, users have the facility to vote for topics or replies to questions to help boost the most relevant content and trends.

With an average of 830,000 posts a day, the site does not only solely relies on the algorithm to keep users entertained. But, the voting system also democratizes the process and helps people in discovering a range of interesting content and key trends.

The human element is something that the social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can’t compete with because the sites rely on an algorithm to show you more of the same content you like.

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With up and downvoting on Reddit, you’ll come across topics you haven’t registered a previous interest in simply because it’s trending.

It thus gives you a way to uncover new ideas and find entertaining content. You can also discover informative posts. This is one thing that Twitter wants to bring onto its platform but can’t rely on its AI to bring to life.


4 Ways Twitter Downvotes Could Impact Digital Marketing


1. See Opinions on Ads, Brand Messaging, and Product Development

Presently we can only measure the impact of our ads through analytics like click-through rate (CTR) and based on the total amount of sales.

The downvote button provides us with another tool in our digital marketing toolbox.

Suppose an ad gets a high number of downvotes, it indicates that your audience is telling you it’s a hard pass. This tells you to revisit the creative, adjust your copy, and try again.

Gradually, you’ll learn what your audience likes best, and thereby you can create better ads, and see a higher conversion rate.

The same logic can be applied to brand messaging and product development. It’s another means to get inside the users’ heads and deliver something that you know they’ll like rather than throwing up anything and hoping something will stick.

For example, if you’re running a sustainable activewear brand and you want to launch your next collection, but you’re unsure which trending color your audience likes best: french blue or rust.

In this situation, you could create two tweets with the color swatch and ask users to downvote their least favorite.

And the best part is that your competitors and followers won’t see a clear winner. When you launch, there’s still an element of surprise.


2. Better Understanding of Brand Sentiment

Brand sentiment is something of big concern when it comes to digital marketing. Hence we invest in social listening tools to discover conversations about our brands and want to step in before problems get out of control.

Keeping track of brand sentiment helps in:

–      responding to queries quickly

–      monitoring marketing efforts and campaign reactions

–      avoiding negative PR

–      knowing where your brand stands on a day-to-day basis

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The downvote button on Twitter is another tool to measure your brand image and it gives a clear indication of how people feel about you.

–    If it is positive, it’s great! You know you’re on the right path.

–    If it is negative, you know there’s work to be done, and it’s time to switch gears.

BetterHelp, an app for therapy, had gone through a massive controversy a few years ago. If something similar happened with a feature like this, the brand might find all their replies getting bombed by downvotes. Though other users may not see this slew of negative sentiment, it could affect their reach and ability to engage in conversations on the platform.


3. Leverage Private Voting

Potential usage of up and downvotes is private voting. And there are public polls on Twitter that encourage people to use those buttons and these can affect your engagement.

Twitter’s this new feature helps users find more interesting, entertaining, and relevant conversations. You can encourage people to “vote” with a strong call to action (CTA).

Thus, more people will interact with your post and this will boost your engagement, and Twitter’s algorithm will get the signals it needs to push it out to more feeds.


4. Self-Moderate Posts

Yet another use that will benefit brands and users is the ability to self-moderate.

Suppose a reply receives too many downvotes, Twitter could push that tweet detracting from the conversation down further or hide it completely.

This will give the users the ability to self-moderate their communities and will also save social media managers from spending time manually hiding replies. 

This also comes with a few negatives. Trolls might even target a user and hide potentially useful information on purpose. It could improve the reach of misinformation. If users mass downvote harmful conspiracy theories, Twitter will definitely hide them, and fewer people will be misled.



At the moment, it’s too early to say if downvotes on Twitter will be a good or bad thing for digital marketers. However, there is potential. Democratizing the content could also give it a competitive edge over Facebook and Instagram.

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