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How to View Twitter Share Counts after Twitter’s API Shutdown

How to View Twitter Share Counts after Twitter’s API ShutdownMany of you may have noticed that on November 24, 2015, Twitter removed its share counts and tweet buttons have been replaced with buttons that do not show the number of tweets that a web page has received.

Twitter’s decision to close off its API has also affected many other apps that display Twitter share numbers, including SharedCount and Scrapebox which now are unable to display the number of Twitter shares.

I’ve found a few options to view Twitter share counts. Here they are:

1. Buzzsumo & Buzzsumo plugin

I was curious about how the shutdown of Twitter’s API affected some of the apps that rely on Twitter counts, so I checked a few sites. I was interested to find that Buzzsumo was still displaying Twitter counts on their website while most other apps were not.

Apparently, they paid Twitter to retain access to this data which makes Buzzsumo even more important than ever.

You can download the free Buzzsumo plugin for Chrome, which can display Twitter shares for web pages that it has indexed. It doesn’t have tweet counts for all pages I visited, but it had them for my site and many others.

After you install the plugin, you will also need to sign up for a free Buzzsumo account.

Steve Rayson from Buzzsumo shares some details in the comments section in his post on Google Plus.

https://plus.google.com/+SteveRayson/posts/PdYYmaSjmec

 

Steve also added the following details about Buzzsumo’s share counts:

– Twitter share counts are typically updated after 3 days rather than right away. The frequency of updates depends on the site’s popularity and ongoing tweets for the article.

– All website share counts are updated every month.

– If you find a page that doesn’t have Twitter share counts, Buzzsumo will crawl it and update it. Allow at least 30 minutes for this to occur.

– The Pro Tools for paid members allows people to drill down into the data and see who actually shared the article.

 

Here’s an example of what the share counts look like with Buzzsumo:

 

buzzsumo-counts

2. Open Share Count

Open Share Count is an app that is in beta which is providing a free alternative to Twitter’s API. It was mentioned in this article from Marketing Land.

You just have to add one line in the code below your existing tweet button and Twitter shares will once again be displayed.

I tested Open Share Count at this URL in case you want to see what the buttons look like – http://smallbusinessideasblog.com/opensharedcountdemo.html

 

One thing I like is that it gives you instructions on how to customize the bubble size and direction of the bubble. You can also have it display counts for other web pages on your site instead of the page it is currently on.

The downside is that it does not appear to be able to display historical tweet counts from before when you sign up. Also, at this time, you can only add one website per Twitter account.

 

Keep in mind that this app is in beta so there are no guarantees or performance. But if you want to display Twitter share counts going forward, it might be worth checking out.

 

3. Twitcount

Patrick Hathaway from URL Profiler informed me about Twitcount. This app allows you to display Tweet counts on your blog post.

You will need to log into their site with your Twitter account for it to work. Then simply add their code to your site where you want the Twitter counts to show. The counts can display to the right or above the tweet button.

I tested this out and like other apps using Twitter’s GNIP data, there appears to be a delay between when the article is tweeted and when the count actually gets updated. Twitcounts told me that they update their counts every couple of minutes though.

They also have data and statistics inside the app. The screenshot below shows tweet counts in their statistics interface on a site I was testing it on.

Twit Counts - Stats

In the future, it appears that they will be coming out with a feature that allows you to use your own Tweet button graphic.

Like Open Shared Count, it doesn’t appear to have historical data counts and only counts tweets from after you sign up. Here’s my demo page in case you want to see what the tweet buttons look like.

 

4. New Share Counts

New Share Counts is an app by Artur Brugeman that automatically detects all the Twitter share buttons on your site and adds counts to the left, right or above them.

I tested it out on some other sites and it seems to work and was even able to display counts for a post that I tweeted just minutes ago. You need to sign in with Twitter to get it to work but I liked that it updated the tweet count right away and that it detected my existing Twitter buttons.

What it basically does is visit Twitter periodically and look for new tweets of your content. It then updates the counts in their database and displays them on your tweet buttons.

If you have other social share buttons, it will even detect what direction the bubble is facing and display your tweet count bubble in the same orientation. At the moment, I have it installed on this site and you can see that the tweet button on the left side is showing counts above the button (desktop) and below the post title, the tweet counts are displaying to the right (desktop and mobile).

The downside is that it only has counts from after when you sign up. So the counts are low for this article and the past two blog posts. Luckily, they crawled my site and got share counts for my past articles, so those articles have their share counts displayed.

But the author of this app told me that it will update all counts going forward. You should visit the site to see which social sharing plugins it works with. The one I’m using wasn’t listed, but it still works.

Here’s a screenshot of what it looks like on an old blog that I was testing it on. The site is using the Digg Digg WordPress plugin and the New Share Counts code automatically added the counts to the right of the tweet button:

newsharecount-demo

 

5. GetSocial.io

I discovered GetSocial.io on Bill Acholla’s blog. Rather than get actual share counts, the Twitter button increases its count by one every time someone clicks on it.

The downside of this approach is that the count won’t be accurate, since you can click the button and then later decide to close the window without actually tweeting the article.

It also won’t count tweets that occur when people don’t use the tweet button which can account for most of the Twitter shares.

But if you want to display something for Twitter counts, then this app could be an option.

 

6. Easy Social Share Buttons

Easy Social Share Buttons is a paid plugin that is available on Code Canyon. It updates counts in a similar fashion to GetSocial.io, so it won’t display Twitter shares from people that are sharing without using your on site Tweet button.

 

7. Twitter Search To Google Spreadsheet

This IFTTT recipe was mentioned as a way to estimate Twitter share counts in a recent article on ClickZ.

 

8. Topsy

UPDATE: Topsy unfortunately shut down on 12/16/15 and is no longer available. 

Topsy is another place you can go to search for estimated Twitter share counts and it also shows you who shared your post. Just type in the URL and run the search. It also has a separate tab for influencers, so you can see people with large followings that shared your post.

Here’s a screenshot from my last post and the counts seem similar to what is reported in Buzzsumo:

topsy-counts

 

 

 

Webmasters are not happy about the removal of share counts, of course. Some reasons for the removal are the high cost of maintaining this data, which is difficult for Twitter to sustain with its struggling business model and representatives from Twitter have also stated that the counts weren’t entirely accurate anyways.

On the positive side, perhaps webmasters will start to focus on more important metrics, like actual traffic and sales rather than obsessing over share counts.

So what do you think about Twitter’s decision to hide tweet counts? Do you know of any other apps that can still display Twitter share counts?

Let me know in the comments below.

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About Brian Lang

I've been making a living online since 2002, mostly through e-commerce sites and content sites with advertising. Through the years, I have also learned a lot about other types of businesses and helped other people with their business problems.

Comments

  1. Dale Reardon says:

    Hi,
    I hate Twtters decision – it makes social proof all tat bit harder.

    I didn’t know about Buzzsumo retaining the data though so thanks very mch for that great tip.

    Dale.

  2. Helpful points. I’ve only recently re-committed to Twitter so any tips like these are helpful. Interesting about Buzzsumo too.

    thanks!

  3. Great overview, Brian! You should also check out newsharecounts.com as another alternative that allows you to track share counts of many websites.

  4. Brain, thanks so much for mentioning BuzzSumo. Just to say we do do track Twitter shares after 3 days but we update the counts periodically rather than all the time. The frequency of update depends on the popularity of the site and the number of ongoing tweets. All web sites will have their share counts updated every month. If you find a page we haven’t crawled we will crawl it for you and update the share counts, it is normally updated in the next 30 minutes.
    We also show in the Pro tool the people that shared on Twitter so you get drill down into the data, including the actual tweets themselves. Thanks again, Steve.

    • Brian Lang says:

      Thanks Steve! I was glad to find out that I could still use Buzzsumo to view tweet counts. Thanks for the extra details too – I’ll be sure to include that in the post when I update it.

  5. Hi Brian,

    These tools are most helpful. You provided tangible quality to your audience with this post, which is both insightful and astute. #Appreciated greatly, sir.

    Gregory Stringer
    Grannelle

  6. Hi Brian,
    This is indeed a difficult one for webmasters. However, the decision is still good as it provides webmasters with the opportunities to look for workable alternatives.

    This is why I agree with your submission “…webmasters will start to focus on more important metrics, like actual traffic and sales rather than obsessing over share counts.”

    At least, now I know of the Twitter features of the above mentioned app. Share count display from Twitter can still be accessed with these alternatives!

    • Brian Lang says:

      Thanks, Sunday! I’ve seen quite a few people add share counts back so it should be interesting to see if Twitter will re-consider their decision.

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THANK YOU for SUBSCRIBING
Join the Small Business Ideas Blog Newsletter to stay updated and also get access to member only downloads and content, including special reports, studies and articles I write on other blogs. Some member bonuses include:
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