Engagement on YouTube isn’t as high as it is on Twitch, Facebook Live, or Instagram Lives and Stories, where you can use emojis to create reactions to content. Even Twitter or Telegram already allow this in their messages and chats as well. But that’s going to change, and it looks like YouTube isn’t going to be just Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down or comment anymore.
YouTube is testing specific emoji reactions this week: LViewers can throw an emoji when they like (or dislike) a specific moment in a video. They can also see how others react during the video. The feature has its own separate reactions panel in the comments section of each video, which will display emoji reactions at times similar to the features already offered by others such as the aforementioned Facebook Live and Twitch.
Google frequently experiments with new features on YouTube, but they aren’t always permanent. Recently, the streaming platform tested allow users to stick their comments to specific points in a video and hide the “dislike” button. When it comes to user engagement, the truth is that YouTube has relatively few options. Or had.
YouTube is testing emoji reactions on a small number of channels to start and with a limited number of users, but will expand the function based on reception. Users will have a wide range of emoji reactions, such as:
- Face with tears of joy
- Surprise face
- celebration party poppers
- Signo “keep it 100”
- Question mark
- idea bulb
- Screaming cat.
According to Meaghan, representative of the YouTube team: “If you’re watching a video that’s part of this experiment, you can react and see the audience’s reactions by opening the comments section of the video and tapping in the reactions panel. The test will also show you what moments other viewers are reacting to (which will be anonymous – we won’t show who sent each reaction). We are testing various sets of reactions and will add or remove reactions based on how the experiment goes.”