Hot on the heels of adding browser file uploading, GitHub has taken the wraps off another feature for its web-facing presence -- reactions. Yes, you can now better share you feelings regarding issues, comments and pull requests on GitHub using good old emoticons.
Much like direct file uploading before it, this feature may as well not exist if you simply use GitHub as an online repository, leaving the hard yards to Git's command-line tools or graphical front-ends such as SourceTree.
On the other hand, if GitHub's web interface serves as a nexus for your development projects, well, you can now enjoy a little taste of Facebook each time you log on.
According to GitHub's Jake Boxer, the formal implementation of reactions should cut down on emoji "noise", as the popular form of conveying one's sentiments online is already used -- perhaps to excess -- on GitHub:
While people have been able to include emoji in responses for a long time, using them as reactions resulted in a lot of noise. In many cases, especially on popular projects, the result is a long thread full of emoji and not much content, which makes it difficult to have a discussion. With reactions, you can now reduce the noise in these threads.
Fair enough, I suppose. Less clutter is always good, though the doors are open now for more emojis to be officially endorsed, such as this favourite.
Add Reactions to Pull Requests, Issues, and Comments [GitHub, via Reddit]