Couple of months back when I was re-designing the theme of this site, I wrote a custom function to grab the URL specific twitter share count. This feature was embeded within the theme to make the share count feature to be the integral part of the design. Similar functionality has been adopted (through custom function) for other popular social media sites like Facebook and Google Plus. Up until November 20th of this year, my custom twitter share count worked on this site.
Last month twitter has confirmed that the company is bringing some major changes on the Tweet button. Apart from changing the design of the button itself twitter also killed the share count option for the tweet button altogether. Thus it also brings the end of my custom tweet share count feature on this site just like many others.
Slashing Twitter Features.
Question is, how exactly this change would affect twitter itself or even to the independent site owners? Well, it seems like twitter is not all that worried about the share count feature as much as the sites owners are. Twitter already explained their point of view on this through one of their blog post. As twitter states:
As part of our ongoing effort to consolidate and simplify the platform for supportability, we’re completing our migration away from Cassandra, in favor of Manhattan, our real-time, multi-tenant distributed database for Twitter scale.
Share count was one the feature built in within the Cassandra system used by twitter, however as they migrated to their new system “Manhattan”, this feature has been taken out from public usage and naturally the sites owner won’t be able to use this feature anymore.
While I personally welcome this move by twitter from technical point of view, I must admit that removing such feature may effect the popularity or overall usage of tweet button among the site developers or even the individual site owners. Perhaps one of the reason behind using tweet button on web sites were to show the popularity of the site or pages of a site. Even though such claim can be debated but can’t be denied entirely. Being a developer myself I find showing sharing count to be an important feature. Then again, no one can deny the fact that there are sites that doesn’t show off their twitter share count. But how exactly the web community will react to this change is yet to be seen and we must wait to come to any clear-cut conclusion on this. I just hope Facebook, Google or other social media sites with similar feature won’t follow the same footstep. Finger crossed.