I happened to run across a post that was from Social Media Examiner, which explained that Twitter was removing the share count feature from social share buttons. The original announcement was made by Twitter, which said that social share counts on Twitter would stop on November 20, 2015. This news also came with the announcement of Twitter’s updated share and follow button design.
Twitter’s reason for shutting down the social share count was to keep the social network more dependable, as well as “simplify the platform.” They also mentioned that the share count was not even supported, which remains the question: why was it available in the first place, if they weren’t going to support it?
While I’m later in the game in talking about this issue, it doesn’t mean that I’ve been unaware of the issue. I’ve been quite aware of it for some time, and have been quite angry, but decided to weigh in after the date that Twitter officially shut off the end point that makes the share counts possible.
I’m quite in agreeance with people like Dustin Stout who, started a thread asking Twitter to clarify what will happen once the share counts are shut off. Many people from all over the blogosphere, and spanning several niche pitched in their cents.
Another blog post, one by Don Sturgill, lays out the frustrations that Twitter taking away the share counts will cause. Don Sturgill also pointed out that Twitter’s stocks have been declining over time, and may coorelate with their decision.
Twitters response to date is that they’ve remained steadfast in shutting down the feature, and stand behind their reasons for doing it.
Dear Twitter: How Will Bloggers Prove Their Social Proof?
This is the biggest question that bloggers have about this? For developers, this effects their plugins or themes, no matter the blog platform or content management system used.
To clarify, share counts are not removed directly from Twitter, only from the buttons that you, the blogger, see on your website. You can still see your Twitter stream, and see the likes and share count/ retweets there. For new posts, this means that counts could be a big fat zero. For posts previous to November 20, 2015, you may see some counts. Note: If you’re curious about how a single post is doing, especially an older one, simply put your Blog title into Twitter’s search, and see what comes up.
However, for the blogger who needs an immediate number in some of their posts on stats, handing access to Twitter Analytics isn’t going to cut it. Some people haven’t even figured out they even had such an option, and others know about it, but don’t care. They rely on picking from their most popular posts, and sharing a link to potential advertisers to help them earn money. Screenshots of Twitter Analytics can be altered with a little bit of photoshop, and giving direct access to that information is just unacceptable. Some advertisers need some fast facts, before filling out a form, or requesting a media kit from a blogger. The best way advertisers could get fast numbers, was by going through random posts and viewing the social engagement.
Since November 20, 2015, the bloggers that aren’t in ‘the know’ or regularly read social media marketing related websites, are just realizing that some of their new posts aren’t collecting numbers, even though they’ve seen that their posts have been shared when visiting Twitter directly.
So, how can bloggers prove their social proof? Even though this is extra work, my suggestion to bloggers is to select 10 posts that received great engagement. Once you’ve selected them, go to Twitter, and find the analytics for it. Take a screenshot, and add it to your media kit. The other way is to just go to your Twitter Analytics, and take screenshots of your monthly and overall stats. If advertisers or brands want to see more, then take screenshots of what they request.
Lucky for us, there is a way to still see the number of Retweets. Personally, I’d like to see a workaround to be able to bring social share counts back, or Twitter change their mind to support it as a feature. Just sayin’!
What are your thoughts on Twitter shutting down the social share count on buttons?