We'll be brief -- but this is something you should definitely be aware of.
Here's how the Twitter Developer's blog titled their most recent announcement: "A new design for Tweet and follow buttons."
Many readers noted the change from black text on a grey background to white text on a blue background and figured Twitter was just making a design change so the buttons will stand out better.
Savvy readers, though, caught something else in the Twitter news release: "We are simplifying the Tweet button by removing the share counter displayed alongside the button."
The upshot is radical: Twitter says they will soon (October) shut down the primary access point (JSON) now provided to 3rd party developers -- meaning share counts would no longer be displayed.
Here's what that means to you
Let's say you write a killer blog post that gets great traction and is shared on twitter over 12K times. You WANT that number to show on your blog's Twitter icon -- right?
If 3rd parties (like Hootsuite, Buffer, and WordPress plugin developers) lose access to the tweet count, they will no longer be able to provide that info to you.
And THAT means your heavy-hitter post will show the same Twitter weight as any other post by any other blogger or company.
It'll show nothing at all.
What we're doing about it
Our dev team kicked into action immediately. Nick is leading the effort to find a different pathway to gather tweet counts and Dustin is communicating with Twitter about the issue. We're not sure yet exactly what the ramifications will be (nobody, maybe not even Twitter, has those answers right now), but you can bet we're taking this seriously and that we are being proactive in our approach.
Could this Twitter move signal a domino effect by other social media? Do they feel they no longer need to provide free access to 3rd parties? And how might that affect the social media tools you are using daily?
We'll keep you posted.
In the meantime, if you think this is a bad move by Twitter and you believe they should still allow those tweet counts, do us a favor and use one of the icons below to share this on your social channel of choice. Use the hashtag #SaveOurShareCounts to unify our efforts and see if we can grab Twitter's attention.
Look for another update next week.