Notice: testing Discourse Reactions here on meta for 1 week!

Everything is available :metal:t4: including arbitrary custom emojis you upload to your site.

This is simply a discussion about defaults.


So this plugin inflates the “catch-all” post_custom_fields database? If this is the case, is this efficient and scalable for many thousands of entries as DB joins have to be made for every single post?


Having been on sites that allow negative feedback and having used Discourse at our site which currently only allows like votes (think positive reaction) I plan to only allow positive reactions in the default set.

While I am aware that there is the Discourse voting plugin (think binary positive and negative reaction only) I think it would be beneficial for an OP to be able to select the reactions allowed for their topic. I know that is not a simple change so would not expect it anytime soon, but something to consider.

Bored of likes in discourse?

Most definitely.

I have been patiently waiting for this plugin for many many months and am more than happy to see it moving along in the pipeline.

Nice job everyone!!!


No we have a dedicated table structure, it is indeed very efficient


Perfect, thanks for the clarification.


Reactions are baked into XenForo and provide more ways to express how you feel about a post. “Liking instead of posting” has always been kind of hard because you can express how you feel much easier by creating a post and using emojis in it.

If the plugin is ever integrated into vanilla Discourse, I will immediately be there to see it. :grinning:

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I like it but this double thing need to be solved…


It make no sense compared to the stylish heart solution - before the plugin was installed

But I like the increased interaction by the readers…

My 2 cents


Only problem with not having thumbs down is that there’s no way to express mild disagreement. I don’t really think sad or angry face gets the same point across. Though if you want to avoid negative emotions (towards the poster) in the default set, then maybe excluding thumbs down is a good idea.

Also, maybe it’s just me, but I really don’t like this emoji. I couldn’t really tell what it was supposed to be when Facebook added it, and the one you posted looks more like waving than a hug. I just find it hard to understand visually compared to simpler reactions like laughing and angry face.


Is this because the icon to click to add a reaction appears separately from the set of icons showing the existing reactions?

Why not combine the two?

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We’ve gone down that road before internally, the trouble is that it gets difficult to distinguish between when you’ve reacted to something and when others have.

I think most implementations of reactions has a similar approach: a separate button for adding reactions, and a separate area for displaying the reaction count.

Our current mobile implementation isn’t great because there’s not a lot of space between the two, but we’re going to improve that.


This is an interesting concept, but what kind of reactions would actually be useful without turning a conversation into something confusing?

E.g., :laughing: can mean a lot of things depending on the context, and might even be taken wrong.

How would you choose a basic set of icons that enhance the conversation without bringing ambiguities? Is there some actual social science behind this? And is it working across cultures?


I am still on the fence about how much value this adds to public communities. Hence that I am not lobbying at all to bring this to meta permanently.

For private communities of co-workers or another tightly knit group it adds significant value, in my humble opinion.

Hi people I got a terrible flu, I am sick, I can not come in tomorrow


Here is the best dad joke ever, I worked on it for 2 hours, it is epic


This line at the DMV is seven mile long… grrrr


And so on.


The internal chat program I use at my work has a small number of reactions like these, and they definitely enhance the experience. However, I feel like it would be detrimental if added to the public Discourse community I spend most of my time on. I feel like it would result in just random spamming of reactions more than it would provide actual value.


Github has a confused reaction, which seems to work well for mild disagreement, in the sense of I’m-confused-why-you-thought-this-was-a-good-idea.


Being a computer programmer one of the first ways I look at a problem is as a typing problem. The closest everyday action I can thing of that is similar is when you are self checking out at the grocery store and you have to figure out what kind (type) of potatoes you just bought as individual unlabeled items. So while the potato does not grow with a type label on it, the entire supply and sales chain knows the kinds (types) of potatoes are but do not label each potato individually (Yes I know some stores do label individual items but just ignore that for this analogy). Hopefully the analogy makes sense but I a sure a word smith could do a better job than me of wording the analogy.

So I would purpose that when the icons are created they come with a default description and that the description can be changed by the admins and display the meaning of the icon when the mouse pointer hovers over the icon.


Now as I eluded to before, I also think that topic creators with a high enough trust level should have the right to choose the icons and add labels and descriptions of their choosing, thus giving the icons a type with meaning and also putting the entire set of icons into context for that topic. I am also not considering the option to split topics at this time but it is food for thought.

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I am alone today.


I am alone today.


I am alone today.


Now imagine that instead of this relatively neutral sentence, where only the emoji gives the reader context, someone posts something that makes them vulnerable – e.g., an account of a difficult situation experienced as an aggression, and a reader puts the :laughing: emoticon. This, in my book, would be an aggression as well. But it would not necessarily be understood that way by the person using this emoticon. Maybe they would simply find the situation funny and miss the affect involved. Maybe someone else would have to signify it to them for them to understand and eventually correct their mistake – unless it was a deliberate troll :troll:.

I can see the limitations on :heart:, e.g., sometimes you simply want to signify that you have read a contribution ; often I use :heart: to say “I’m on it, hang on”. Another emoticon would then be useful.

As usual with technologies, this plays differently at the edge (in different communities) and should be considered in a way that the defaults will not be misinterpreted, and in a way that will not create misunderstandings by avoiding actual discussion. I would be interested in finding what kind of “emotions” can be best expressed by an emoticon while still nurturing the conversation.


I think the reaction tooltip is unpleasant too look at and out of keeping with Discourse where user names usually have the avatar:


The table when clicking on the ‘reactions’ is however really fab and well designed. Can that not be used for the tool tip as well?

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No plan to do this.

It’s designed to be fast to load so there won’t be images.

Concerning the look itself, you can change it, it’s designed to be simple and easy to override.


I’d probably remove it completely and opt for a highlight on the reactions to prompt a click which then shows the table. This would be in keeping with how the vanilla heart operates.

Also there’s a behaviour wrinkle that after you’ve reacted you helpfully get a no entry sign on the heart icon, but it still expands the reaction palette (still with no entry sign). If there is a no-entry sign, the palette probably shouldn’t expand as though there is something that can be done.

Sorry, I’m a bit pedantic about UI behaviours at times and this might be one of those times!

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I just noticed a small UX issue, at least on mobile. When you tap the received reactions for a post, a popup table appears with everyone who gave the reactions. Then when you tap one of the profile pictures in the table, you get the usual popup with a preview of the user’s profile. All good so far. The problem is, when you tap somewhere else to close the profile popup, it closes both the profile popup and the reaction table popup. As you may want to look at more than one user who reacted to the post, I think it should close only the profile popup on the first tap. A second tap somewhere else should be required to close the table popup.

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