Twitter turned off tweet counts. They said the feature taxed their infrastructure. They asserted that tweet counts weren’t a true measure of popularity or impact. So, poof, Tweet buttons all over the Web were stripped of their digits. Content publishers watched their most important social credibility measure disappear.
I waited and hoped that Twitter would rethink their decision and bring back the counts. It didn’t happen. I moved on. Until…
If They Can Do It I Can Do It
One afternoon, bored, I clicked over to Copyblogger to see what was new.
Here’s what I saw…
Yes, 1,097 shares are eye-popping, but those beautiful Twitter counts are what had my jaw bouncing off the carpet.
“What one man can do, another can do” is a mantra I live by.
If Copyblogger can do it, then you can too. The trick is reverse engineering a solution. One reality check, Copyblogger Media can tap into vast resources to solve their Twitter count problem. Our solution may not be as elegant, but we can get close.
How Did They Do It?
Copyblogger owns the stellar premium WordPress theme shop – Studiopress. I figured they used the Genesis Simple Share plugin. One techie spied that Copyblogger may have “forked” (modified) their plugin to show tweet counts. But this observation didn’t explain how Copyblogger was getting the Twitter counts.
Twitter is no longer making counts available, so Copyblogger had to be getting them another way. After another few minutes of searching, I realized this wasn’t going to be an easy fix.
I tried another Google search, starting with the assumption that someone figured out an alternative way to estimate retweets. Following this thread, I began searching for alternatives to the old Twitter counts. That’s when I struck gold.
How to Get Your Tweet Counts Back
It’s a relatively simple 3-step process that took about 15 minutes to do. It was easier than I thought it would be.