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New: Reactions

This entry is about our IPS Community Suite 4.2 release.

IPS Community Suite has long had a reputation system; first we had a simple up/down system, later updated to introduce a Likes system as an alternative. Whichever system you chose to use, it tied in with our reputation system.

We're pleased to introduce the latest updates to the reputation system, and it's something that has been requested for quite some time: Reactions.

Quite simply, reactions allow users to offer more fine-grained sentiments towards content than a simple up/down or 'like'. They are now in common usage on social networks, and so users expect to be able to be more nuanced in their response to something they see.

Let's see how they work in a post, and then cover the options you'll have available.


What you see above is the default setup for a site that has used the Like system in version 4.1. We include 5 reactions by default:

  • Like
  • Thanks
  • Confused
  • Sad
  • Haha

If you currently use the older style up/down reputation system, don't fret - you'll still get the new reactions on upgrade, but they'll be disabled by default and instead the new reaction UI will show up/down reactions. This gives you the flexibility to decide which of the new reactions, if any, you want to allow.

So, those are the basics - but what configuration options can you expect to see? First, you can of course add your own reactions! We expect that beyond the default reactions you'd expect to find, some sites will want reaction types specific to their use-case. On an intranet, you might want to have 'agree' and 'disagree' reactions for staff to use when responding to discussions. On a gaming community, you might replace the icons to be some graphic from a video game that means something to your particular userbase. There's a wealth of possibilities.

Each reaction you set up can be configured to adjust the original author's reputation count - a reaction can be positive (i.e. award a reputation point), negative (i.e. subtract a reputation point), or neutral (i.e. leave the reputation count unchanged). Our default set won't include any negative reactions, but you are free to configure these and new reactions to suit your own use-case. A user's total reputation count is still shown alongside their content and in their profile, of course.

If you don't want to use the new reactions for whatever reason, you can disable all of them except Like, and it'll behave just the like 4.1-and-earlier system:



Sites that currently use the up/down system don't show a list of names of users, and instead show an overall reputation score for the content. With the new reaction system, you can enable this even if you don't use up/down reactions. This is great if you plan to use reactions as, for example, an agree/disagree system, or where the content score is more important to your site than the individual reaction types.

reaction count.png

How the reaction UI looks with the 'count only' setting enabled

As you'd expect, you can click individual reaction counts (or the overall reputation score, if you enable that setting) to view who reacted to the content. This remains a permission setting that you can apply per-group.

react who.png

On touch devices, on-hover functionality is not suitable, and so for these devices the reactions UI looks like this:


Reactions play well with all areas of the suite, including Recommended Replies:


...and activity streams...


...and a couple of places we aren't quite ready to reveal yet ;) 


We hope you're looking forward to this new feature as much as we are. It's already been a hit on our internal testing site, and we're looking forward to seeing how clients customize it for use on their own community.

Developer note: Reactions are one of two new features (the other currently unannounced) so far that make use of PHP Traits.



Recommended Comments

On 3/28/2017 at 7:39 AM, Matt said:

We encoded the binary image data for the heart icon across all the IPS4.2 source files so it really can never be changed. It took a long time, but we felt it was worth it.

This kind of response is what Reactions was made for!

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I like it, it seems years behind what other sites (FB) already have and kinda like you're copying them.  I like how flexible it is.  I plan to use it.  I posted some of this on one of my sites, they did not seem to care for it.  I'll try it out, if it flops, I like that I can revert to what we currently use.

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22 hours ago, Ryan Ashbrook said:

Our default emoticons support retina, and it is possible to upload a retina image for any emoticon. We just haven't done so here for the non-default ones. :) 

Isn't it time we switched to emoji?

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Will we be able to customize the reactions per forums ?

I say this because it's nice to have all those reactions in specific sections, but if we have a forum for the community guidelines and someone clicks on "thumbs down" it's irritating. it's easy to troll the system.
We should be able to exclude reaction per forums and also decide which reactions are available and which reactions are not available for specific sections.

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1 minute ago, Netherlord said:

Just squeeze in a setting so I can stop members from using all daily alotted rep on a single user. Maybe have a limit on how many a user can receive from any one user.

This is a good question.  There's a setting to control "Maximum number of positive reputation points allowed to give" -- will this integrate and stop additional reactions?

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8 hours ago, Joel R said:

This is a good question.  There's a setting to control "Maximum number of positive reputation points allowed to give" -- will this integrate and stop additional reactions?

Be good to know 

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Awesome. Exactly what I have wished! I was thinking about this feature since months ( ! )and already started developing my system.

As a very nice feature update or addon for coming releases:

Please add the functionality to

(1) ShowUp Settings per Reaction & permissions per Forum (in addition to only groups)

(2) Make it possible to use not only one reaction bar, but 2 or 3. This way, we could also create gamification elements... We get more possibilities to have different "reaction systems" at once.

Great work!

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Just for reference: I wrote down my features dream (concerning the development of extended "reaction" features, that might be of interest or considered one day :sorcerer: ).

I'm very curious how reactions will evolve!


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Understood, thank you. My current site (IPB3) uses likes to give reaction for posts, which the new system is going to be great. 

We use the Ajax thanks as a separate function to indicate a user "agrees" ("thanks" language changed to agrees") to the initial post. A user could react to the original post, agree to the original post, or both. We don't want users to "agree" on anything but original post, but be able to react to replies. 

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