Twitter Share Counter Removed

 

UPDATE 8/26/16 — TWITTER SHARE COUNTS HAVE RETURNED! CHECK OUT HOW TO GET YOUR SOCIAL SHARE COUNTS BACK

 

Hey, What Happened to My Twitter Shares?

If you’ve noticed that the hot new article that you just posted received zero Twitter shares, don’t get too upset:

It’s not you, it’s Twitter.

As of November 20, 2015, Twitter discontinued access to its Tweet share count API endpoint data. More simply put, the Twitter share counter icon stopped counting. So if you’re using a social share counter like Share Tally or AddThis to track your FB, Twitter, or Pinterest popularity, pour one out for your Twitter tallies. Now you will no longer be able to watch the number of shares tick up next to your little Twitter icon as readers share your article or story, so it’s time to start searching for a new way to fuel your ego.

See the shot below for how our share icons now clearly misrepresent how much Tweeters love SEO tips:

SEO Tips Twitter Example

Zero Twitter Count

Why Would Twitter Remove Social Share Count?

So, what’s Twitter’s reasoning behind this change? According to the update announcement Twitter made, share numbers aren’t a true indication of the Twitter conversation happening around a shared piece of content (they don’t reflect qualities like replies or the number of followers of those tweeting your content). Twitter believes it can offer more valuable insights than a share count. More specifically, Twitter believes it can offer more valuable insights through their self-owned insights site, Gnip. If you guessed Gnip’s services are not free, you would be correct.

This count does not reflect the impact on Twitter of conversation about your content — it doesn’t count replies, quote Tweets, variants of your URLs, nor does it reflect the fact that some people Tweeting these URLs might have many more followers than others.

Maybe the change is driven solely by a desire to provide more valuable share tracking metrics. Or perhaps it is a way to turn tracking into a revenue provider. It’s possible Twitter simply felt lost or devalued in the clutter of share-count icons as every big social media platform now has one. Regardless of the reasoning, Twitter seems pretty set in its decision, so now all there is to do is adjust accordingly.

 

What This Means for You

The fact that your Twitter shares are no longer being counted doesn’t mean your riveting content can’t be shared. It just means that you (and more importantly, your readers) won’t know how many others viewed your content and thought is was something worth sharing. A loss of social credibility, if you will.

It appears that the update may be retroactive with some share counters, too, so that post you wrote prior to the new design that got 2 million Twitter shares–looks like that never happened now. So, for the sake of content consumers who may not know that your zero shares results from a lack of data endpoint access rather than a lack of interest, why don’t you go ahead and remove that Twitter count button. Or, simply transition it into a button that allows readers to share but doesn’t attempt to calibrate a number. Here at Wired we use Cresta Social Share Counter, which provides an icon update that no longer shows a number next to your Twitter button. No Twitter share number at all is better than a having a little birdy icon with a big goose egg next to it.

Really, there’s not much else to do in lieu of the change. However, keep an eye on the other social kings. Many platforms followed Twitter into share counting, let’s see if they follow Twitter right back out. We may be on the verge of a social media tracking overhaul.

If you’re interested in some more user opinions on this update, check out this post.

Or, to hear more on the update straight from the bird’s beak, view what Twitter had to say about it here.

 

And if you recognize the relevance of this article, share it!

(We recommend you tweet it, just no one here will ever know that you did)

Sinclaire Dickinson

Sinclaire Dickinson

Content Strategist at Wired SEO
Digital marketing content editor, creator, strategist for Wired SEO, an inbound marketing firm based in Fort Worth, TX.
Sinclaire Dickinson
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