Thoughts on 👏’s

❤️ or 💔? I don’t know yet.

Badri Sunderarajan
Aug 16, 2017 · 3 min read

When I first heard of claps, I was like “oh no” — as were a lot of other commenters. Claps seem more frivolous and informal than hearts. They’re fine for Series, which is where they came from, but can’t take the place of the little green hearts on regular articles.

But maybe I’m deciding too early. Medium wants to try out a new way of interacting with posts. Maybe it’ll work out. The feature appeared in my stream today, so I thought I might as well try it.

Here are my thoughts and understandings of the new system — or at least, those which I can remember. If you have anything to add, I’d love to hear it in the comments!

The weight of a clap

Many people have been wondering how Medium will process these claps. Will more claps give posts more recognition? Will they be boosted more? How much more?

How do I decide how many claps to use? I find it hard enough to pick a number from 1 to 5 — how will I manage fifty

It turns out that Medium will weight your claps depending on how many times you usually clap. So if people always do about 10 claps, their claps will have less effect than from people who usually do one or two.

My ‘claps’ policy

With claps replacing recommends, I guessed that each old recommend would be counted as a single clap. With that in mind, I’ve decided to treat claps the same way as recommends. So, most of the time, I’ll only click once.

But there’ll be some times when I’ll do more.

I’ve been thinking about claps, and wondering where they’ll come in useful. And I thought about those moments when I like an article so much that a recommend doesn’t feel enough. Now, claps provide a platform for me to express that feeling.

So, most of the time, I’ll clap just once. But if it’s a really nice article for which I want to express more appreciation, I’ll hold down the ‘claps’ button for longer. I don’t know how long — it would depend on how I’m feeling, and I’ll try not to calculate it too much. I’ll just hold on for as long as feels right.

Self-clapping

I always wondered why some people recommended their own articles. What’s it supposed to mean? It seems a bit self-centered (though people may of course have their reasons for it).

Anyway, one thing I noticed is that the ‘clap’ button is greyed out on my own articles. I can’t clap for myself. That makes sense. It prevents people from clapping fifty times just to boosts their own posts. Although it doesn’t prevent people from creating ghost accounts and clapping from there.

Counting claps

So now I can give claps. But what about receiving them? I’m used to a ‘recommend’ meaning ‘one person’ liked it. With claps, that relation is gone. I won’t have any idea what a certain amount of claps means. I don’t have any yardstick to compare them to.

If claps become the norm, I’ll probably get used to them. Eventually. I’ll get some idea of how many claps to expect. The community will adjust to it. Yardsticks will be developed. We’ll know what the numbers mean.

But I know I’m still going to miss the little green heart.


What about you? How are you going to handle claps? Do you just want to get back to recommends? Do let me know in the comments. And remember to click the ❤️ if it’s still there — this may be your last chance!

Mobile Lifestyle

When thinking of Mobile Service Design, we not only design intuitive (web) apps for Smartphones, Tablets or Wearables, but for an entire lifestyle. In our publication, we curate the best articles covering the Mobile Lifestyle — written by people that live it.

Badri Sunderarajan

Written by

Books reader, Websites coder, Drawings maker. Things writer. Occasional astronomer. Alleged economist. Editor@Snipette.

Mobile Lifestyle

When thinking of Mobile Service Design, we not only design intuitive (web) apps for Smartphones, Tablets or Wearables, but for an entire lifestyle. In our publication, we curate the best articles covering the Mobile Lifestyle — written by people that live it.

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