Why your Twitter button lost its count

Once upon a time, the Twitter button was the only button on the web. Today it is often crowded out by a number of others. Recently, Twitter joined the crowd and removed the Tweet count, and here’s why.

Despite my involvement with all things online and social I appear to have missed the announcement of Twitter’s removal of counts from the Tweet button. An email to the editor soon put me in the picture.

I have to say that I am going to miss the ‘at a glance’ count of how many people Tweet our Bizreport articles but, as Twitter explains, they have ‘finite engineering resources, which requires us to make choices about which products and public APIs we invest in’.

So, as of a couple of weeks ago, the Tweet count next to the button disappeared. However, its demise is not too much of a disaster. After all, while the Tweet button counted the number of Tweets Tweeted using the specified URL, it did not reflect the impact on Twitter of conversations about that content. Nor did it count replies. Or provide information on the Follower count of those who Tweeted.

“The Tweet count feature is one of the last features running on Cassandra. Like all engineering organizations, we have to make tradeoffs,” writes Michael Ducker, Group Product Manager at Twitter, on the company blog. “The choices are to deprecate the feature, or rebuild it on a more modern tech stack. Rebuilding has its own costs, and would delay our work on other, more impactful offerings for our developer community. After talking to several of the top customers affected, we chose to not continue the feature.”

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