A mockup of a react button. The platform's 'Thanks' icon is emphasized.

Thank You Button

Increase retention and make prosociality contagious

Our confidence rating


Share This Intervention

What It Is

A stand-alone button, or reaction, which enables users to express thanks and gratitude.

Civic Signal Being Amplified

Encourage the humanization of others

When To Use It


What Is Its Intended Impact

To increase the retention of contributors through the expression of gratitude.

Evidence That It Works

Evidence That It Works

A year-long experiment (CAT Lab, 2020) exploring the impacts of 344 volunteers thanking 2,702 Arabic, German, Polish, and Persian-language Wikipedia contributors has shown that receiving thanks increased two-week retention of Wikipedia contributors by 2 percentage points on average, and caused people to send more thanks to others by 43% on average.

Why It Matters

The ability to increase new user retention by two percent, coupled with a 43% in thankful exchanges, could correlate to not only increased sustained web traffic, but also to a more resilient community.

We also think that it matters that people, when they are thanked via a button like this, proceed to use the button to thank others.

Humans are social creatures. Research on gratitude has found that, when your brain recognizes that someone has done something nice for you, it reacts with gratitude to motivate you to repay them and others. Gratitude signals the "interpersonal warmth of the expresser, [which prompts] investment in the burgeoning social bond." (Williams, L. A., & Bartlett, M. Y., 2015)

We would like to see more research on whether this increased gratitude has more direct, measurable effects on community cohesiveness and resilience to anti-social behavior.

Special Considerations


This intervention entry currently lacks photographic evidence (screencaps, &c.)


Volunteers Thanked Thousands of Wikipedia Editors to Learn the Effects of Receiving Thanks

J. Nathan Matias, Reem Al-Kashif, Julia Kamin, Max Klein and Eric Pennington
June 20, 2020

Is this intervention missing something?

You can help us! Click here to contribute a citation, example, or correction.

Further reading

Back to Prosocial Design Library