Changes are coming to the way you see Twitter every day.
The microblogging site has redesigned Tweet and Follow buttons and is losing the share count — the displayed number of times a tweet has been shared — some time in October.
In a post on the Twitter community forum, the company announced its decision to remove share counts, a feature that has been part of share buttons for the last five years.
The post also added that, for the first time since 2011, the company was going to update its Tweet and Follow buttons. The 3D effect, blue Twitter bird and black text will be replaced by a simple 2D white-over-blue version.
This update is the latest addition to a slew of recent changes to Twitter. Some of the significant ones include losing the 140 character limit on direct messages, the launch of desktop notifications for direct messages, and the removal of the homepage wallpaper.
What prompted these changes?
Many believe the company is facing an acute leadership crisis after its Senior Engineering Director moved to Uber and its relentless search for a CEO failed to net results.
To make matters worse, it has been slapped by a lawsuit that alleges the company snoops on direct messages.
In the meantime, competitors have stepped up their game to seize new opportunities. A recent example is Instagram surpassing Twitter to become the second most popular social network.
It would seem that Twitter is introducing these changes to regain its popularity and become more user-friendly.
What do the Changes Mean for Your Business?
In the post, Twitter says, “Twitter REST API’s search endpoints are the best way to gather ad-hoc information about a URL shared on Twitter; full-archive search counts are available from Gnip.”
In other words, smaller publishers and businesses are possibly going to have to pay Twitter to access and share information about share counts.
For the small website owners, there are essentially two options: use Twitter’s REST API or work with Gnip to gather full-archive search counts.
At a time when social networking sites are going all out to woo users and businesses, it will be exciting to see the response these new changes receive when Twitter launches them next month.
Interestingly, Twitter is planning to continue reinventing itself to regain momentum. The latest buzz is the company is experimenting with a new way to poll users on Twitter.
I feel like the share counts were really nice because it could demonstrate that a tweet had some popularity/credibility behind it. But I can understand the API load those buttons were probably causing them. Too bad.
Share count has proven to be one of the most effective social proofs. Removing it would mean that smaller publishers will need to remove/update the widget/app that show share counts as they are no longer that accurate without Twitter.
I don’t know whether this is a sound business decision, but it would be interesting in finding out what’s the implications of that decision.
Change is a constant for better or worse. I enjoy Twitter daily and hope to keep it effective for my clients
I’ve heard that there’s going to be a way to see the shares but you’ll have to pay for the privilege. I don’t really see this as a wise move.
It’s a development issue according to Twitter, although some speculate that it’s also so that the site can monetize the aspects where we can prove social reach. Either way, it’s a blow to many – it might be a vanity metric but it’s a handy means of seeing quickly if a post is popular and worth reading.