Thanks, these things do make sense.
I’ve written a bit about this topic before. But from my side, the way the product is built affects people’s behavior. That’s why the editor is minimal, for example – we’re trying to encourage uninterrupted writing, rather than keep people on the site looking at ads. So I’m very wary about adding one-click reactions, because I don’t think they facilitate real communication.
While readers can leave a one-word comment, the design and interface around filling in that comment at least communicates that they should be writing something more. On the other hand, a one-click reaction requires no deeper thought, no conversation, no human connection. lt’s a lever we’ve all been trained to mindlessly press on the web, like rats in a lab. Most people will choose to press it instead of working to form full sentences.
Besides this, there’s the addiction factor. Many people have noticed this on other social platforms: they post something, and if they don’t get any likes / claps / retweets / whatever, they assume no one cares, or that no one liked it at all, or no one really read it, etc. Their sense of worth / success is now tied to a cold, impersonal number – something that wouldn’t have happened if there weren’t “likes” in the first place.
And on the back-end, it means we’re incidentally collecting more behavioral data, which I’d like to continue avoiding, as it diminishes the privacy protections we can offer.
Ultimately, there are plenty of platforms on the web that already have upvotes, downvotes, likes, laughs, claps, favorites, angries, etc. – and new apps copying this feature every day. I think this is best left to them.