After it first started experimenting with up and downvotes for group comments back in November, Facebook has now updated the test, with new badges that can be allocated to indicate to the commenter why you find their remark valuable.
As you can see in this example, posted by social media specialist Johannes Van Zijl (and shared by Matt Navarra), when the new up and downvote option is made available in your group, you’ll get a prompt that alerts you to the option.
And Facebook has also now added this secondary explainer screen to the alert.
As you can see here, Facebook’s also now testing some new icons that you can also add to comments which will then be shared with the author. The idea is that you can encourage more activity from the commenter by saying that their comment was ‘on target’ or ‘informative’, for example, with a target or light bulb icon respectively.
This seems a little like LinkedIn’s post Reactions, which are based on more professional responses, as opposed to more emotional triggers.
In this sense, Facebook’s new response icons for up and downvotes seem more aligned to its Workplace product, where up and downvotes are already available on posts – though Facebook’s own descriptions of the icons are a little more open to interpretation.
Why is an owl ‘educational’? I guess, wisdom, or something?
As noted, Facebook began testing up to and downvotes for group comment back in November, but it’s actually been experimenting with Reddit-style comment voting for some time.
Back in 2018, Facebook tested the option for general comments on posts, not just within groups, in a couple of different formats.
That test was abandoned after a few weeks, but clearly, Facebook still sees potential value in voting as a form of comment moderation and ensuring the most engaging, most interesting comments get more traction, with a view to enhancing the overall discussion.
It seems like a logical addition for groups, though there are some concerns that it could be used for ‘brigading’ and downvoting dissenting opinions into oblivion, which could further reinforce filter bubbles.
Facebook hasn’t provided any insight on the test as yet, but it’s clearly still working on it, which would suggest that it’s showing some promise.
Will these new icons add something new, and enhance the comment voting option? It’s an interesting experiment either way.