Reason behind Removal of Twitter’s Tweet Button Count



by Nazia Khan-Ahmed 


A while ago Twitter decided to make changes in their existing designs that includes changes in the current Twitter buttons, their logo and their website design. For this purpose Twitter posted a blog in order to update the existing users regarding the details of changes they plan to make. They are using their new design that contains a blue button with white text and logo. Previously they used the combination of gray with black text and blue logo. In recent years this is considered as a big change by many audiences.

Apart from this, one of the major changes that Twitter has made is the discontinuation of the total number of tweet count that was attached with the Tweet button.

Know why the Count was removed  

Many of the users must be thinking about the cause due to which Twitter decided to remove the Tweet count button. According to Twitter there are several reasons for its removal which they have explained in their blogs. On the other hand, according to many social media experts have added up some of their additional reasons regarding the tweet count removal. Some of the main reasons are discussed below:

First of all many social media experts have a point of view that the tweet count was not considered as an official data source. The Tweet count included a series of undocumented and unofficial API hooks. These were used broadly on behalf of Twitter which was never supposed to be used in this way. With the help of these hooks which allowed the official button of the Twitter tweet in order to show the total count of the tweets. Many developers also co-opted these particular hooks so that they may be able to make a customized a tweet button out of it. The available skinned over tweet buttons on a site makes the API calls to the undocumented sources of the data that uses the plug-in of a third party.

Here, one of the major problems that many of the users faced with the changes that Twitter made included the migration of the features from Cassandra to Manhattan. This particular feature required the complete re-engineering of all the ways in which these particular features performed.

In this way the Twitter had to have to perform its regular functions on an entirely different architecture. Only a developer is aware of the time and resources that are needed in order to work with a multiple architecture. That is why you will be able to see that many of the software only use to perform different works on either PC or Mac. In addition to these, the users which use the Linux perform their own workings. As a result, most of the developers avoid developing for two different platforms. It is because managing these different platforms is not an easier task. In this way they are able to save their time, money, and efforts.

One of the most vital streams that are used to maintain the count is the API data stream. It is considered as one of the most important and last legacy features that performs the working of the Twitter on the Cassandra. According to the new change policy of Twitter, the Twitter intends to close down the Cassandra and all those features which supported the Cassandra.

In many cases the Twitter redeveloped many of these features for the Manhattan. When it comes to the Tweet count API, Twitter planned that the features of tweet counts was too minor to get a good result from the overall development time.

In addition to this, the Twitter management decided to get away with the hassle of migrating the tweet count feature from Cassandra to the Manhattan. It is because the Twitter management found out the tweet count feature to be very expensive and it many consume a lot of extra time in the migration process. So as a result Twitter decided to remove this particular feature rather than wasting a lot of time and resources on it.

According to the Twitter, another reason that they gave in response to the removal of the tweet count is that it did not accurately reflected the performance of a particular piece of content. On the other hand it would count the number of all the tweets which the users made with the help of using the exacted URL link which lead to the actual content. Additionally, the tweet count was not useful when it came to the calculation of the Shortlinks not made through, the replies were not counted, the URL variants were not counted and many such activities were not counted. Further the tweet count was not helpful in presenting any of the differences that occurred among a bot with 0 followers who re tweeted the contents and also it included a celebrity with 10 million followers which did the same thing.

See through a Marketer’s Goggles

In the viewpoint of many marketers, you can find out many certain conspiracy theories which they think lead to the removal of the Twitters tweet count feature. Some of the marketer’s views are discussed as follows:

The very first reason which the marketers think about the removal of the Twitter tweet count is due to the point of not investing their time and resources in a particular feature when they decided to make changes in their architectural plans. Many of the marketers and developers thought that tweet count to be useful for them.

The major drawback of this concept is that Twitter will be going to make some delays in the process of the re-implementation of the particular counter. It will help many of the developers to get boosted in order to find out many other ways of performing different tasks. The Twitter management could also make up their plans to purchase or mimic many different functions. As a result it will save them a lot of development time and energy in providing the tweet count facility again to the users.

The second important aspect of the reason for removing the Twitters tweet count is that Twitter is trying to increase the importance of tweet count features and not want to decrease it. They do it in a way by making the private availability of the metric. These metrics are considered as more vital and valuable. Although the metrics are available but it is hard to get them. These are mostly implemented and used by many of the famous businesses or blogs.

In many cases twitter process these tweet count features by their official data provider that is famously known as “Grip”. Grip is helpful in providing numerous insights of the Twitter as well as the analytics data. Whereas, the analytics data is somewhat different from the Google Analytics.

If we talk about the Google analytics, we will come to know that it is free for all those specific users who have their Google accounts. Google account is also provided as free for all its users. On the other hand, the Grip is an expensive tool. The Grip data providers do not have any of their price lists on their website. According to many of the marketers the price ranges from $400 to $5,000 on a monthly basis for their services. This is considered as an expensive amount of money in view of many marketers as well as the developers. On the other hand, these features were provided for free to the users by Twitter.

According to the third reason that is given by the marketers, they think that Twitter is trying to devalue “cheap” social metrics. This means that in their point of view the tweet count did not represent the actual spread of a specific link on a particular platform. So with the removal of the tweet count, Twitter boosted many of the marketers and developers to search for any other available metrics that may be useful to them

The fourth theory of the reason for the removal of Twitter count is that the Twitter management are just being ignorant of the fact regarding the removal of tweet counts. In this way they are making their point of view to get the views of different people who prefer using the tweet count feature.

In this way there is a certain possibility that they might over view their point of migrating the tweet count as early as possible due to the very high demand of the users. These may include the users who are particularly the marketers or the developers. Despite of the fact of the high number of resources and money they may spend on this particular feature. It may be possible for Twitter management to provide these facilities again to the users on their requests and high demand.

This particular ignorance policy that is carried out by Twitter is highly supported by many of the evidences that different marketers have collected. In the descriptive blog of the Twitter where they explained the fact of making specific changes, Twitter claims that “few other social sharing buttons have related counts attached.” Many bloggers who have previously used the tweet count buttons may know that this reason may not be true. Many different social media channels like the Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and many other similar channels as well as the minor social channels include the count buttons that are helpful in calculation of the tweets that the users make.


The Effect of this Decision

With the removal of the Tweet count many of the users may face some changes. These changes have affected the blogging world at large. Some of the major changes that the users faced are discussed below:

Any of the users who use the default tweet count with the Twitter button is going to these buttons replaced when they use the new design, missing the counter. If in case the default design of their site contains particular counters including all of their available social buttons. In this case you will find the new Tweet button will seem out of place.

Any of the users who plan to use the third party plug-in will have to monitor the performance of plug-in very carefully. Many of the older and less supported plug-in, might face an entire breakup. On the other hand you will be required to update some of the plug-in.

Any of the users who rely on social proof in order to sell their products will be required to find out any of the other way so that the Twitter social proof can be represented. Or on the other hand you may find out a way so the Twitter social proof can be removed permanently. Nonetheless the follower count will still exist.

Any of the users who manage their social media accounts for other businesses will be required to search a new way to represent Twitter success. The Tweet count is considered as a decent metric which is useful for showing the growth calculations, although if you do not have an accurate representation of some specific numbers.

Any of the users who intends to develop a third party social plug-in that benefits from the tweet count as a feature that becomes useless which can further be able to remove a crucial selling point from your product and drop the graph of sales and interest of the users.

In many cases you may find that the number of tweet counts will tend to fall. It does not give a visible indicator of the popularity of that one gets from the tweet counts. There is a visible chance that many of the users will intend to re tweet a particular link when they see that many other people have shared or re tweet the particular link with many of the other users. On the other hand, when many of the users do not get this visible knowledge then there is a low ratio of the people who will share or re tweet a particular post.

There are many search engines that are available for the users to use. If any of these particular search engine tend to use the specific tweet counts as a metric even if these a soft metric, then in this case they will surely not continue to do it when the data does not become available.

There are many situations when you will find most of the third party plug-in that are coded in a specific way that they will need a response from each of the available network before displaying any counts. Most of the people have informed that they have found no response from Twitter which passes out all of their other social counts. In this way it makes up their metrics to show 0 across the board.

With the removal of the tweet count many of the average bloggers or businesses may not find any benefit from it. Only the engineers would be able to get the benefit out of it that has got the task of migrating the features of Twitter from Cassandra to Manhattan.


 What is Your Opinion

In view of many social media experts and marketers they think that Twitter has come up to a bad decision of by removing the tweet counts.

Many people think that Twitter will reverse back their decision in the coming time. Moreover, any of the third parties will emerge in order to figure out a way to manage the data.