Twitter owner Elon Musk announced the arrival of view counts on tweets in what appears to be a bid for algorithm transparency.
“Twitter is rolling out View Count, so you can see how many times a tweet has been seen!” Musk announced Thursday, noting the feature was previously available for videos shared to the platform.
“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 [impressions].”
Twitter is rolling out View Count, so you can see how many times a tweet has been seen! This is normal for video.
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.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 22, 2022
“If a celebrity or ‘journalist’ has 2 million followers and barely gets any views on their tweets because they purchased 1.9 million fake followers in order to appear to be A-List … This will expose lots of fake followers purchased by so called media stars and celebs,” said one user named Wall Street Silver, noting the feature’s algorithm transparency would expose users with inflated followers.
The user followed up asking if the feature would be private to the account owner or for public view.
“We can already see impressions in the analytics of our own tweets. The key is so EVERYONE can see view count of the tweets of others like we can see on video views for all.”
Is this designed so everyone can see view count?
Or only you the owner of the tweet can see view count?
We can already see impressions in the analytics of our own tweets. The key is so EVERYONE can see view count of the tweets of others like we can see on video views for all.
— Wall Street Silver (@WallStreetSilv) December 22, 2022
Musk replied, confirming tweet views would be made public similar to video view counts.
Along with view counts, Twitter also announced the implementation of cashtags.
Similar to hashtags, cashtags feature the dollar symbol ($) in front of a publicly traded stock, ETF, or cryptocurrency featuring a clickable link taking users to search results which will feature pricing graphs.
When you Tweet the symbol of a major stock, ETF, or crypto currency with a $ in front of it (like $BTC), people on Twitter see a clickable link that takes them to search results.
Starting today, these search results will include the pricing graphs for major symbols.
— Twitter Business (@TwitterBusiness) December 21, 2022
Most symbols with or without the cashtag symbol will also show results when entered in Twitter’s search bar, according to the announcement.
The newly implemented features follow a string of changes spearheaded by Musk following his October acquisition of the company.
Musk previously polled users on policy changes including the un-banning of former President Trump, along with other permanently banned users in a general mass amnesty. The tech billionaire also appeared to poll users in an attempt to attract “bot” accounts triggered by controversial topics and key words.
On Monday, the tech billionaire polled users if he should step down as the platform’s interim CEO.
“Should I step down as head of Twitter?” Musk asked users, saying he would “abide by the results.”
Over fifty-seven percent of users agreed Musk should step down as head of the platform with 42.5% disagreeing with the sentiment. Over 17 million users participated in the poll.
The poll follows a since-rescinded new platform policy prohibiting users from freely advertising other platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and others.
Another user noted a public poll conducted by HarrisX revealed respondents supported Musk remaining head of the platform.
Musk responded to the HarrisX poll by saying there may be still be an “itsy bitsy” bot problem on Twitter.