I'd like the ability to "like" comments, in order to let someone know that I appreciate their comment without having to make a comment of my own. I envision this as behaving similarly to likes on posts, in that it would be invisible to everyone but the liker and the commenter.
I could also see some sort of public-facing +1 or upvote system, which would have the added benefit of reducing the number of replies that are just "+1" or otherwise just expressions of agreement. However, I would not want this to become a full Reddit-style voting/ranking system.
I really don't want this feature to be implemented at all. I think the need people feel to give and receive likes on comments is a bad pattern that's been trained into us by worse social media, and it's something we should just stop expecting. I think there's no way of doing this where it wouldn't create a feeling of obligation/expectation. It means that when someone leaves a comment, the *default* path if no action is taken is for the commenter to feel a little disliked/snubbed. I'd like the default assumption to just be, maybe the OP liked it and maybe they didn't, and it's fine either way.
Sometimes I've replied to comments with just a single emoji, when it's something that i'd especially like to actively respond to but I don't really have much further to say. I think that's a better norm, precisely *because* it requires more effort and takes up more space, so people don't expect to receive it on every single comment; it also carries more nuance, but doesn't require formulating words at all.
To frame this from another angle: if this feature got implemented, I wouldn't engage with it *at all*. I'd turn off my ability to see when my comments got likes, and I'd hide the button for me to like other people's comments. And that would inevitably lead to at least a few people commenting on my posts or replying to my comments, and then feeling snubbed or upset that I "didn't like" whatever they had to say. I really just think this is a fundamentally bad idea.
Ya know, I never thought that asking for making a basic social interaction accessible would be this contentious, but I am starting to get really frustrated that the response from others is to say that now we've had bad patterns trained into us from social media and that that's why people say they need this feature. Especially in light of what has been said by myself and others how NOT being able to just leave a like or whatever kind of non-verbal reaction to a comment is fundamentally making this site feel like it stifles the ability to have social interactions.
it's borderline infantilising to be told that my need to just be able to accessibly interact with my friends is some sort of bad toxic media habit. So can we please drop that act? If you don't like the idea, you can say that, but stop it with the "you've been trained to do this and it's bad" when it's 1. not fundamentally bad and 2. we're not helpless babies. It's not the intention probably, but it IS frustrating when that's the line of thought that seems to be held against you constantly when people are saying they actually struggle with being verbal online and this is meant to actually help them.
All that considered, reacting with a single emoji is kind of all that I ask for with regard to being able to "like" someone's comment. I think actually just calling it "like" is not even the right term for it. It's more like I just want to non-verbally acknowledge my friends, and I've been wanting to make that something less intrusive and easier to do than a whole reply. That's...it. That's literally it.
I really apologise that I got so upset. I feel like I've been too judgmental and my emotions got the better of me.
But I just don't get one thing. Say that just replying to people with an emoji is the way to go. Isn't that gonna make the issue of it becoming an expectation even worse because all replies are necessarily public-facing?
Like, I could, if I wanted to, reply to everything I want to with a heart or a smile or a hug, and then everybody will see that I do that, publicly.
A completely private (between the reply-er and the OP) interaction thus means that there's less expectation or let-down from others if they don't get one, because...they don't see it. It's only relevant between me and a friend of mine's reply.
I just...I really don't get it, but I shouldn't have gotten as upset as I did.
I have to say, I don't think "just comment with an emoji" holds water at all. People demonstrably do not do this. Yes, a few people do, you see it here and there, but man it would be awful if people actually did this every time they would otherwise have clicked like. Comment threads would be completely unreadable walls of emoji. I know we're mostly talking about "I read this" likes from the person being replied to, but that's not the only reason to want to (privately) like a comment, and hey even with only that use case in mind, comment threads can have quite a few people in them! three emoji replies on every post in an 8-reply thread between four people sounds pretty bad to me!!
At this point in the site's history, I honestly do not think a widespread social expectation that you'll click the button will emerge as people seem to fear. In fact I don't think that expectation even really exists on twitter to the extent people seem to think; it lives in your own brain! People are by and large not judging you or freaking out about it if you fail to click like. Maybe they wonder for a second if you saw it or not, but it's really not that big a deal.
And since the popular idea is making them private, why is it bad if there is a tiny obligation? No one else can tell, it's not about numbers, it's just a basic etiquette thing. Flavor the button as "I read this" rather than "I like this" to remove any ambiguity about the meaning and.. to be honest, it is just mildly impolite not to let someone know that you've seen a thing and aren't planning to reply further! In in person interactions, you always get this feedback. In a tense online interaction between strangers no one is going to be expecting you to click it, and between friends it's just really nice for everyone to be able to feel like there isn't a loose thread.
FWIW, comments with "+1" or "seconding this" turn into walls of text and as a programmer who's used github I just reeeeally don't like them and don't want them to be the de-facto way to express that a comment was helpful or agreeable to you. Comments that "yes, and" another comment are fine, as are "super underrated comment" or other creative ways to express that, but just very straightforward "+1" type comments are irksome.
Expressing these sentiments without turning the comments section into an inane wall of text means implementing a like system. The advantage of a like system is also that you can make it so that it has different visibility, notification, etc. settings. For example, you could make it so that likes on comments besides one's own are invisible, whereas reply comments would still be visible. You could also make it so that likes do not send a notification, but reply comments do (as they do now.) You could even offer the ability to have users opt-in/out of either receiving notifications for likes versus reply comments, or even _sending_ that notification–with a visual indicator on the post that shows whether or not likes will cause notifications, if you're really worried about social obligations to acknowledge every comment manually. Heck you might even want to "lock" likes if you want to really avoid the social obligation (though tbh I do not believe there is one, I think that's all in people's heads, but hey, feelings are real and do matter.)
I think a big part of the division of opinions here comes down to, for lack of a better term, popularity: if you're someone with a lot of followers who makes posts that regularly get a lot of engagement, having any expectation to then engage with responses to your posts will seem burdensome. On the other hand, if you mainly engage with a small circle on the site, whether that's due to not having many followers, only interacting with people you know, exclusively posting about a niche topic, etc. I think having a low-effort, low-impact way to acknowledge someone can be valuable and useful.
I'm not sure if there's a middle ground - my first thought is maybe there's a way to set it up where it's more like discord reacts (as reactions are slightly higher effort/relevance it may mitigate a sense that they would be a given) and then letting users opt-out so none of the replies on their posts can receive reacts (thus there is no ability or expectation for them to react)? but I'm ultimately someone who falls into the category of people who would benefit from this so can't properly address the perspective of someone who doesn't.