Just Because It's Trending Doesn't Mean It's True

What Twitter Takes Away, OpenShareCount.com Gives You Back: The Share Counter

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Fri, 20 Nov 2015 12:58:40 Z)


How many times a web post has been shared on Twitter is a point of pride and a measurement of social success, but those numbers will soon be missing. Twitter has announced it will stop sharing the sharing count with web publishers as of November 20, 2015, as part of it's initiative to make its button design "modern."

"We are simplifying the Tweet button by removing the share counter displayed alongside the button," the social network said in a September 2015 blog post. But modern and simple in this case mean publishers and readers lose an accurate share count.

Twitter suggested using the search function of its REST API to obtain information about links being shared on the platform and (presumably) counting the number of results as an alternative.

But using this API takes technical skills not everyone has and in addition to that none of the existing third party Tweet buttons are equipped to obtain share counts in this way. On top of that searching only returns tweets from the past seven days so the count would go inaccurate quickly as time progresses.

The free OpenShareCount.com solution developed by Lead Stories can do these searches for you while keeping a record of the number of results during previous searches, keeping track of the number of shares over time for your posts and updating your buttons' share counts.

You simply replace one URL with another URL in the source code of whichever third-party Tweet button you are using so you don't have to be a Tweet button developer to use OpenShareCount.

The september announcement about shutting down the share counts was widely criticized by the developer community in Twitter's software ecosystem. However, at a developer conference in October Twitter's newly appointed CEO Jack Dorsey said the company wanted "to make sure we have a great relationship with our developers... that we're fulfilling and serving everyone's needs....We need to have a better conversation with our developer community, with everyone in this room... We can't stand alone. We need your help."

We here at Lead Stories are glad to help out by offering OpenShareCount to the Twitter community. It takes just a few minutes to sign up for free to activate OpenShareCount for the domain of your website. Visit OpenShareCount.com and start today.

(Oh, and the count on the tweet button below this article? Powered by OpenShareCount...)

About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk
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