Twitter is rolling out a feature that shows how many people view your tweets, similar to features on platforms like YouTube that show how many times a video has been viewed.
“Twitter is rolling out View Count, so you can see how many times a tweet has been seen! This is normal for video,” Elon Musk wrote in a tweet. “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.”
Per his own words, Musk seems enthusiastic about this feature showing users just how many people they will reach on Twitter; the comparison to online video feels like a call out to content creators like YouTuber MrBeast, whom Musk says is “not out of the question” in the search to find Twitter’s next CEO. But for some users, this feature might have the opposite effect and reveal that fewer people see their tweets than they believed.
Already, Twitter has a feature that shows more detailed analytics about your tweets than just likes, retweets and quote tweets. If you click “view Tweet analytics” under something you posted, you can see how people interacted with your tweet in ways like clicking to view your profile or expanding the details of a quote tweet. You can also see the total impressions, which is defined as “Times this Tweet was seen on Twitter.” This definition is pretty loose, since we don’t know exactly what it means for a tweet to be “seen.”
What’s different about the new views feature is that now, views will be visible to everyone, not just the owner of the account.
Not all users have access to this feature just yet, as it takes time for a rollout to hit all users. The feature is currently available on iOS and Android, with web functionality expected soon. For those who can’t see it just yet, reverse app researcher Nima Owji shows what the feature will look like in practice, adding that it looks like this only works for tweets posted after December 15.
Twitter’s product rollouts have been hit or miss — remember less than a week ago when you could briefly get banned for tweeting the link to your Instagram? That didn’t last long. Over the last few days, Twitter thankfully seems to be prioritizing less divisive (or low-key tyrannical) feature updates. On Wednesday, Twitter updated its cashtag system so you can see the price of a stock or cryptocurrency simply by typing something like $ETH or $GOOG into the search bar.