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Now That Twitter Has Killed Counts, Other Ways To Find Your Shares
Twitter share counts are officially dead, but there are several alternatives that offer similar functionality.
Publishers were in for a disappointment in late 2015 when Twitter announced that it was no longer supporting share counts on tweet buttons, leaving social media managers and publications at a loss for how to validate the social proof of the shareability of their articles. When a social share number drops from 900 down to zero, concerns arise that the content is not as trustworthy or credible, as it lacks the expected endorsement.
Most found suitable solutions pretty quickly, leaving some to question whether tweet counts were removed altogether or silently brought back (They’re still gone). Others removed the share counts entirely, so as not to allow the numbers to detract from the value of the content, and due to the difficulty of implementation.
Still, there are workarounds, and while none are as graceful as the plain Twitter button, they do serve publishers in attributing share numbers to each piece of content. Below are a few of the tools that publishers are currently using to maintain their credibility.
- OpenShareCount: Many sites are using OpenShareCount to access Twitter share numbers. The tool has some limitations in terms of data access, as a result of its reliance on Twitter’s API, in that only tweets from the past seven days will be counted. Therefore, it helps to have the data stored locally and then added to the counter in order to maintain a close-to-accurate tweet count.
- TwitCount: TwitCount may have solved the OpenShareCount and Twitter API problem, giving publishers as accurate information as possible on their share counts.
- NewShareCounts: NewShareCounts is another API that allows publishers to access Twitter counts, but like OpenShareCount, it also only has access to seven days of Twitter history from the day the website is added to tracking. Historical data is not maintained.
- Gnip: Larger publishers have been utilizing Gnip’s enterprise API, a Twitter-owned tool to provide historical and real-time data.
- TrackMaven: Analytics tool TrackMaven recently announced that it will be adding support to Twitter counts.
- Twitter’s REST API is available for any developer who prefers to build his own tool, but this will require the developer to build out the data for the share history beyond the seven-day limitation.
Another tool that’s available to anyone, publisher or otherwise, is BuzzSumo’s Chrome extension, which gives anyone access to the number of interactions on a post.
While none of the aforementioned solutions are as easily implemented as the official Twitter button, if a publisher wants to maintain the level of trust it had prior to the change in November, there are certainly options that would fit the bill.