Twitter begins to expand its downvote feature – but is it needed?

Twitter has been working on a way to enable users to downvote tweets, while not making them public, since early 2020, however the company is expanding the feature to more users across the world, not just in US.

Downvoting was also confined to web users, but this wider testing of the feature will also apply to some iOS and Android users, where you may start to see a downward-facing arrow on some tweets.

This won't hide the tweet or let the tweeter, or your followers, know that you've downvoted. This is more for Twitter to help refine its algorithm in helping you find better curated tweets. However, users aren't convinced.

A 'hide tweet' option instead?

If you use Reddit, you'll see the downvote button everywhere. It's a major part of the site's design, as it shows other users how well the post has been responded to by others.

But Twitter has gone down another avenue here, where the downvotes are seemingly just for the company to help improve its service, which seems over-engineered.

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Other companies such as YouTube has changed how it displays dislikes, with the option remaining, but the number of dislikes being hidden, and that has also proved controversial so far. The co-founder of YouTube, Jawed Karim, spoke of his frustrations in how the platform may decline after this change.

But with Twitter, it feels as though it's a feature that doesn't need to exist. While the company explains that it's to help the content you see, there's still the bigger problem of harassment and bullying that many users have been subjected to.

Showcasing a downvote button for Twitter's algorithm is backward, and instead, there should be other features, and beefed-up existing ones to help curb the harassment.

A 'I don't like this tweet' would be beneficial, alongside more streamlined ways to report abuse on the platform. Having a downvote button that benefits Twitter, not the user may be something that will urge the company to put the feature on pause for now, and to see how it can better serve users, rather than the algorithm.

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The Microsoft Teams empire is about to expand even further

Microsoft has launched a new initiative designed to attract even more customers to its collaboration platform, Teams.

As described in a Microsoft blog post, the company is kickstarting a device trade-in scheme, whereby businesses can claim cash back on old video conferencing hardware and desk phones when they make the switch to Microsoft Teams.

The scheme will be facilitated by a partnership with Network-Value, a company that specializes in global device trade-in and responsible equipment disposal.

Microsoft Teams expansion

Earlier this week, it was announced that Microsoft Teams has breached yet another major milestone, racking up more than 270 million monthly active users (MAUs). For context, the service is said to have attracted fewer than 50 million daily users before the pandemic began.

However, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has warned that he does not expect Teams to sustain the current rate of growth. Indeed, with many businesses having now settled with a software partner, bagging new customers will surely be more difficult for Microsoft this year.

That said, the company will continue to do everything in its power to expand the Microsoft Teams empire, with the support of new initiatives like the trade-in scheme.

“IT and facilities directors are facing many tough decisions as businesses evolve to support a hybrid workplace. Considerations include the transformation of existing office space, standardizing the meeting experience globally for all employees, recouping residual value out of existing hardware and disposing of end-of-life devices,” wrote Microsoft

“When it’s time to upgrade your desktop phone or video conferencing systems, we’ve made it easier by leveraging the value of your existing hardware. Instead of spending valuable time trying to sell or recycle your hardware, simply contact Network-Value to receive a fast, competitive quote on your device inventory.”

Another way in which Microsoft will attempt to capture an even greater slice of the pie is through a continued focus on feature rollouts.

In recent weeks, for example, we’ve reported that Microsoft Teams is set to receive new features that let users hide their own face during a video call, use their smartphone as a walkie-talkie and run the software in a virtual machine.

Microsoft will hope that a combination of continual upgrades and out-of-the box thinking (as demonstrated by the trade-in program) will help make 2022 as successful as previous years where Teams is concerned.

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