Discover more from The Shortcut
Twitter view counts rolling out, says Elon Musk. Here's why public impressions matter
Impressions will show up on tweets alongside reply, retweet and like metrics
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Twitter view disclosure
🐦 Twitter ‘view counts’ are slowly rolling out, showing impressions publicly
📊 Impressions appear next to replies, retweets and likes for each tweet
📈 Musk says it’ll show “how much more alive Twitter is than it may seem”
🤫 It may also spotlight who has been shadowbanned or has fake followers
Twitter is now rolling out view counts that display the number of impressions of a tweet, according to Elon Musk, offering insight into how widely a tweet is seen.
The new disclosure, Musk said, will “shows how much more alive Twitter is than it may seem, as over 90% of Twitter users read, but don’t tweet, reply or like, as those are public actions.” Musk compares the new public metric – which is now available to me on mobile as of Thursday night – to seeing video view counts.
The Shortcut is the #1 banner-ad-free consumer tech publication. Please sign up as a FREE or paid subscriber to keep us that way
Twitter users can actually see impressions for each tweet they send via Tweet Analytics (click the bar graph icon at the bottom of one of your tweets), but it hasn’t been public information until this change. Per tweet stats like “engagements,” “details expanded,” “new followers [gained from a tweet],” “profile visits,” and “link clicks” remain private.
How Twitter view counts will be extremely helpful
There are two perks that will come from Twitter publicly displaying the view count of each tweet – besides Musk’s trying to prove that the social media platform is more alive than people actually suspect.
First, we’ll be able to more easily determine if a tweet is algorithmically suppressed through shadowbanning. That’s been one of the more revealing disclosures of the Twitter Files (specifically seen in Twitter Files Part 2). Publications that said the proof of shadowbanning was not a big deal because we all knew it was happening were the ones who previously called it “so-called shadowbanning” in their stories and followed that description with “there is no evidence” of it happening for years.
Elon Musk said there will be some sort of notification if a user has had their tweets suppressed. So that combined with these public impression metrics will shed light on whether or not the algorithm is artificially keeping your engagement at a minimum.
Second, Twitter view counts will clue us in on who has fake followers and who does not. This will be important for advertisers who sponsor tweets with popular creators and don’t see much in return by way of replies and likes. Twitter’s impressions will tell the full story in a very public way.