Ever wonder how many people are actually seeing your tweets? Twitter is rolling out yet another new feature that answers that very question. Most users are kept in the dark when it comes to knowing how many people actually see what you share. But now, underneath each Twitter post, some users can now view how many people have seen it. Advertisers on Twitter have been able to see how many impressions their marketing campaigns are getting, but for the first time, Twitter now makes those numbers available for everyday users.
Twitter is banking that this new feature will encourage more people to tweet. For some users who don’t have a lot of followers, sending tweets can sometimes feel like shouting into a giant void. Twitter lets you know when someone favorites something you retweeted or a tweet that mentions you. Having a view count lets you know that even if you aren’t getting retweets or favorites, your posts are being read. The flip side to this is that seeing the numbers can make you feel less likely to keep tweeting. Let’s say you have 1,000 followers and only 22 saw your last post. It is easy to see why people would get discouraged. Twitter so far has only experimented with showing users the exact number of views and is only selecting specific users to take part in the test. It seems to be rolled out on iOS devices only so far.
A study done last July showed that Facebook users greatly underestimated the size of their social media audience. This is partly due to the fact that many don’t want to know the actual numbers for fear of being disappointed. Stanford assistant professor Michael S. Bernstein had this to say about tweet and post views:
“When you post on a social network, it’s almost like trying to give a presentation from behind a curtain. You know who’s invited and supposed to be listening, but you don’t know who is actually there in the room,”
This latest feature is part of a lengthy list that is designed to increase engagement and bring users back month after month. According to Twitter, favorites and retweets have increased by more than 35% with the addition of favorites, retweet and follow buttons being placed inside user timelines on the mobile apps. Because of this increase, Twitter is now making the numbers known. The question is, will the truth of the numbers be hurtful to those that can see it?
Let’s face it, Twitter is not a popularity contest, but it does give you a little ego boost when you gain new favorites and followers. While view counts might encourage participation if a post is well-received, they can also deter newcomers. Twitter is rolling the dice that users are okay with talking to an empty room on occasion.
What do you think of Twitter’s new feature? Does it hurt or help you? Let us know in the comment section below!
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