Twitter removes share counter and people are up in arms!
This month, Twitter has made changes to their share counter on social widgets. You might not have even noticed! Have a look at your social widgets on your website or your blog and you will see Twitter looks a little different to the other social media blocks.
Now with Twitter, there's no counter so you can't see how many people have shared your posts. Since the update, some people have been unhappy - SEOs and businesses in particular.
What did Twitter say?
In October, Twitter announced they were going to make some changes and the major news was they were going to pull the plug on their social media counter.
Twitter has said the reason behind this is to help simplify their platform and the counter does not actually give accurate data. The counter only tells how many people have shared it but does not reveal how many people talk about it, retweet it or use variations of the URL.
Twitter has also said, they want to move away from the social counter because Twitter is a real-time social platform and the counter is part of their old system which they want to move away from.
What does it look like?
We've got an example from our blog so you can see what it looks like now.
Unlike LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+, there are no share counts next to Twitter, it's just a button. However you can see the button has also had a redesign from the old white background social icon.
Reactions to Twitter's decision
So far, the reaction to Twitter's removal of the share counts has been mostly... negative.
Many publishers see the removal of the share counts as detrimental because the counts indicate to readers that people are reading and reacting to the content (by sharing on social media).
People have voiced their disapproval over the change.
From their anger, the hashtag #SaveOurShareCounts was born.
Despite Twitter saying their social counter wasn't accurate, publishers and businesses saw their counters as valuable and weren't happy they had been removed.
Will it have a bad impact?
The biggest concern publishers have about the loss of the social counter is that it will have a major impact on future sharing.
Relating to Dr. Cialdini's Theory of Influence, he mentions as one of his six principles that 'social proof' is critical when influencing a person.
High social shares on a blog post can influence a reader that they are reading an excellent post because other people have shared it. From publisher's view, they believe the loss of the social counter will negatively affect their future views and shares.
Is it all bad?
Although publishers consider the loss of the counter a bad thing, we think the removal of the counter is good - for readers.
Create own opinion
How often have you read an article or blog, and when you noticed the social shares were in thousands, your point of view was altered? Naturally if you see a blog has had a high volume of shares, you may be encouraged to agree with the writer rather than form your own views.
The disappearance of the counter can help readers make their own judgement without being discouraged by the high share count.
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How do you feel about the changes? Do you think they will impact your marketing?