Response emojis?

Some forums I visit that use this software system have a series of reaction emojis for the like selection at the end of each thread response. Here, the only available option is the heart. Could the selection be increased, for example a thumbs up, surprise, excitement, clapping, etc. ?



The “like” is a very special thing that counts toward people’s trust levels. I think I’ve seen plugins that will allow response emojis similar to chat, but I’ll have to research. I’m thinking if people could respond-emoji it might clutter the topics, and potentially reduce the chance of getting an actual “like”.


It is part of the like system. It is just different, all positive emojis/icons that are a little more nuanced than just a hear. Just a thought. I thought it might be just a checkbox in the admin section.


A good example is: You can see the options just running the cursor over the heart.


There was quite a spirited discussion about it on Meta…

What I’m curious about is if you really want to provide emoji feedback, why not reply and use all the emojis you want in the message?

:question: :+1: :100: :wave:







Just a suggestion. :ok_hand:


Is that a preference that I’m supposed to set somewhere? I can’t find it.


I believe Hanon changed it for everyone using his mystical mod powers.


I appreciate being able to respond to a message without cluttering up the discussion or spamming notifications. It’s much nicer to see something like “:+1: 30” beside a post than to scroll past 30 one-character posts.


It also makes the emoji response more nuanced. I don’t like always giving a heart to a post that I like.

If I don’t like a post, I just pass on by.


My question in response to these is "are you wanting to spend more time finding just the right emoji for every post you go by, or are you wanting to save time since the like system is already binary? Does every post require an instant response with more nuance by clicking little pictures than it would be to respond and say “Hey, nice job! :+1:

So the feedback I’m hearing is that people want this forum to work more like Discourse/Slack and social media chat in general.

We do have chat for the Regulars who’ve been around the board a lot, and response emojis are available for that.

One of the issues we initially encountered when we proposed the switch to Discourse years ago is people were very resistant to the forum becoming “social media”. They wanted to click on each individually time-stamped message to read it. They didn’t want stretching continuous live timelines, they didn’t want avatars and emojis littering the text and interface. We tried to take a lot of that into consideration and make the forum work mostly similarly to how it had before while still taking advantage of everything Discourse does. And we hope to offer that with customizable options like themes which vary in the information they display and how “cluttered” they might be. I honestly don’t remember if “like post” was even an option on phpBB before Discourse.

A lot of people didn’t even want off-topic categories, and for a long time we considered it a feature that we were mostly “shop talk” and the forum didn’t attract a lot of stray chatter that people would need to wade through to get to “the good stuff.” It wasn’t real time, and the moderate discussion volume and slower pace appealed to many.

Truly, that is becoming a little less true; we’ve got public chat available for the regulars who frequently now get into involved personal and stream-of-consciousness discussions that are ephemeral and really don’t need to be posted and archived for posterity. Some were worried that chat would “take over” or detract from forum discussion, but it’s actually taken off in separate interesting and positive ways on its own. We enjoy the activity and interest chat has injected and I feel it improves the community vibe. We’ve got the forums for structured formal discussion and chat to blow off steam.

Chat has inspired some very popular off-topic threads running about Chess and Positivity which are great! I think chess was discussed in a channel at length to a point that I commented “do I need to make a separate chess chat?” and someone created a successful off-topic discussion thread.

Twitter and Mastodon just have the singular “like” or “boost post”. Discord and Slack chat allow response emojis and there’s often a different feel to the discussion. The immediate reactions are because it is inline chat and usually not being historically archived to be read in the future so those reactions aren’t being looked at years from now where the context may not be as apparent.

I kind of held the ideal that forum discussion is discussion and reaction to discussion is usually more discussion explaining how one feels instead of “five thumbs up, three hearts, one kitty, four happy faces, three laughing faces, two laughing faces with tears, four tilted laughing faces with tears, one eggplant and a frowny-face (that is a response to the eggplant and not the message)”

One other point: I believe we can easily change the “like” response from showing a heart to some other symbol - are people’s objection to it specifically the “heart” is a symbol of love and they’d like something a bit more platonic like a star or a thumbs-up or a +1 or a “100” instead?

I get that it’s less nuanced. I have also had that reaction on Twitter where I want to support someone’s post about a bad thing without implying “hey, I like that you were in a car accident” but I always did that by responding in kind to a tweet and emoji-ing a blue heart for sympathy or a green heart for support instead of clicking “like” - often with a few words as well, but sometimes just the emoji was enough.

The other thing one-click emoji response opens is the possibility to react negatively to a post minus context. I’m not saying that’s always a bad thing, but if someone’s going to thumbs-down or put an angry face on my message, I’d love to know why. It also kind of introduces a “playing for the crowd” element to get the votes and the reactions and tilts the forum into performative posts for a response instead of the more conversational discussion we’re used to. I know people really get into the “gamification” of social media discussion, but does it need to go past likes and be nuanced?

I’m open to discussion and feedback. I’m not saying the forum has to stay the way it is because of the way it’s always been, of course, but I just want to make sure we’re not talking about changing a paradigm that only a few people want to change, especially when we’ve been making efforts to create a space and a community where there are options that hopefully offer something for everyone.


Allowing the full spectrum of emojis is problematic for all the reasons you pointed out. I also wouldn’t include negative emojis either for their potential for misuse. If you were to do this, the trick is restraint.

Maybe about 4 or 5 different flavors of “like”:


And for those posts that you don’t want to like but wish to express a quiet sign of sympathy:


Keeping it at something similar to these extents would probably avoid most of the issues you’ve detailed while offering some flexibility and nuance.

With that said, I could live with things staying as they are as well (thank you for lowering the minimum character limit).


I sure can stir it up. :slightly_frowning_face:

PS. My verbal skills off the cuff are poor. I enjoy writing since I have more time to ponder and re-write. I frequently fail to express what I am actually trying to say on post responses. :frowning:


I liked the above post, hopeful that my like will be interpreted in the spirit (empathetic) it was intended!


Thanks. :slight_smile:


I’d prefer a lamp. I believe the lamp is the unofficial symbol of IF, so why don’t we lamp posts we like?

I’ve used emojis probably less than 20 times in my life across all tech. I don’t care about them. But I do like the idea of something more specialized for us than a boring old heart.



“You spark a small light of appreciation for what you have just read.”


I would like a lantern rather than the heart, but I’m just one of many. :wink: