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 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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
Coming back here a bit late, I wouldn't be against Chris Stapley's idea as a middle-ground, which was:
> What if only the OP or people you're replying to could like your comments?
I do feel this still kinda falls into potential "courtesy like" territory, BUT restricting them to reply recipients and the owner of the original post might frame them as a lower-cost, private-facing interaction? Or maybe it just enforces this even harder, since now the only likes you could expect now are from whoever you're replying to.
Like... I don't know, I'm generally on the side of "We don't need likes on comments." I've felt better about leaving and receiving comments on Cohost by not even having to think about this sort of interaction. But I understand why people want it, I still do it myself on other platforms. Very mixed feelings about this tiny and specific type of interaction.
I would really like this feature, and it's something that feels really missing to me. I want to be able to show people appreciation for the comments they leave, and to be able to do things like that without feeling the pressure that I have to come up with something new and novel to say for each and every comment. I want to be able to show appreciation, say thanks, and acknowledge that I've seen what people are saying when they interact with me, just because that's something that I want to do, not out of any sort of obligation. And I don't think having an invisible like feature on comments would inherently cause any kind of obligation like that in people, that depends entirely on how people choose to interact with it themselves, and if someone feels like they have an unhealthy relationship with likes, they can choose not to interact with the system. Considering we have the ability to turn off notifications for likes, if someone feels that the system isn't healthy for them or that they just don't enjoy it, they can already turn it off.
But without it, I feel like I'm left without an avenue for actually interacting with people. I'm a pretty nonverbal person a lot of the time, and I have difficulty coming up with things to say, on top of feeling a pressure that everything I say has to be meaningful. So most of the time I end up leaving comments in the void, no way for the person who sent it to know if it was ever read, or if I enjoyed it, or anything else. I just want to give people a little nod, smile, thumbs-up, rather than leaving every conversation feeling cut off or stunted. And having it be a completely opt-in feature would be a really nice way to offer that option to people who want to be able to communicate that way.
As much as I'd use a "read and acknowledged" feature, I agree with others in that it could descend into attention-seeking territory if not implemented carefully. So I'll have to say "nay" as well.
I'm coming back to this idea to say that I really really would love to have the most basic idea of this implemented where like counts absolutely do not matter. I just want the like button so I can leave a conversation with my friends with some positive interaction rather than leaving them hanging thinking they've said something into a void.
Like, I dunno, I get where folks are coming from that they don't want it because it increases a social obligation or whatever, but honestly, the more I've been going on this website without some ability to acknowledge that I appreciated what my friends said in reply to my posts (without really having anything to add to it myself) the more I feel like it's actually stifling the social interaction aspect of this site in a negative way. I wanna be able to use this site to be social!
Just would like to pop in here and say that I'm with @caro on this one. honestly one of my biggest peeves of using cohost so far is the complete absence of like counts on both posts and comments. It feels like I'm the only loser interacting with anything on here.
I understand that some people may find the idea of giving "courtesy likes" or receiving notifications for likes stressful (?) but just because that's the case doesn't mean we should do away with the concept of public like counts entirely.
A toggle would be very much appreciated. I think that'd be best.
I just struggle to see it the way everyone here does, but considering how controversial the idea is I imagine it won't be implemented. For me, the absence of comment likes are sorely felt, and it doesn't make much sense to me to have these concerns about comment likes but not post likes. They're one in the same for me.
I just want a nice, convenient button to show my appreciation for a comment that doesn't require unnecessary spam/fluff to do so. When I reply to every comment it feels like I'm "needing to have the last word" and idk, it feels kind of weird to me. But just clicking the little heart, that's nice and easy and shows I enjoyed their comment.
I've never had any feelings of stress regarding liking someone's comment, feeling like I'm obligated to do so out of courtesy or something. So I guess I just don't understand that criticism because I just don't have that mindset about likes.
I do agree with everyone though that like counts shouldn't be public, but yeah I don't think that was ever on the table. Ideally it'd work identically to post likes. Regarding notifications, post likes are already condensed down to one line. I don't know if that wasn't the case 7 - 8 months ago but that issue seems more or less solved now.
I strongly oppose this. It would quickly become a societal obligation to click it for every comment on your posts, and would discourage actual communication.
Coming into this thread with a desire for comment likes and reading through the concerns, something I realized is that comment likes being invisible to everybody but the comment poster might prevent the courtesy like compulsion - from the outside, you as a commenter have no idea whether the OP is the type of person who likes comments liberally, sparingly, or not at all. You can't be in the situation where you see OP liked two other people's comments but not yours.
I generally don't mind courtesy likes as a practice, but I have been in stressful situations before where I've liked several friends' comments on some social media post, and then a stranger comes in and I feel obligated to extend the same courtesy, which feels over-familiar. If comment like visibility is the same as post like visibility, that stranger has no way to know that I've been liking my friends' comments, and I don't have to worry about making them feel left out by failing to like their comment.