TikTok is giving users a thumbs down.
In a Wednesday announcement, the company revealed it’s testing out a new feature which will let users “dislike” comments they deem “irrelevant or inappropriate.” TikTok says it’s adding the feature to let its users “feel more in control over comments.” Unlike dislike or downvoting features on platforms like Reddit, where everyone can see the icon, TikTok says its version will only be visible to the user who cast the dislike. TikTok believes limiting the dislike’s visibility will help avoid creating “ill-feeling” between users.
“This community feedback will add to the range of factors we already use to help keep the comment section consistently relevant and a place for genuine engagement,” the company said.
Some TikTok users took to Twitter to post screenshots of the dislike button. As of now, the icon appears as a large thumbs-down emoji to the right of the heart icon. Unlike the heart, there are no numbers accompanying the thumb. In a statement sent to TechCrunch, TikTok said the feature was undergoing testing in specific regions but notably wasn’t being tested in the U.S.
Tiktok dislike comment button just make it looks messy I think pic.twitter.com/bBNEk6QsXY— yazz🌵 (@iniyaspip) March 14, 2022
If the dislike button becomes a permanent TikTok staple, it will mark just the latest in a string of pretty fundamental overhauls to TikTok’s product design. Back in February, TikTok boosted the maximum length of its videos to 10 minutes, up from its previous limit of three. Seven more minutes of content might not seem like a huge jump, but it’s worth keeping in mind that TikTok’s maximum video length was capped at just 15 seconds when the app first launched in 2016. Competitors like Instagram and Facebook, meanwhile are heading the other direction, opting to emphasise shorter-length videos.
TikTok’s new approach to dislikes comes around six months after YouTube announced it would hide video dislike count on its platform. At the time, YouTube said its internal testing had shown removing dislikes reduced the frequency of dislike attacks and could potentially help dissuade unwanted harassment on the platform. Not everyone was thrilled with YouTube’s choice though. A group of developers even went as far as to create an open-source browser extension, called “Return YouTube Dislike,” that pulls dislike data from YouTube’s API for users to see.