On December 22, 2022, Elon Musk tweeted about the roll out of a new Twitter feature: Twitter View Count.
If your Twitter timeline is anything like mine, you've been seeing an explosion of Tweets talking about this new feature. As with most things on Twitter, especially lately, it seems pretty controversial. Here's everything we know so far about the new Twitter View Count:
- What is Twitter View Count?
- How to See Twitter View Count
- Why Can't I See Twitter View Count?
- Is Twitter View Count Accurate?
What Is Twitter View Count?
According to Elon Musk's Tweet, this new feature is meant to give us a more accurate representation of the reach on a given Tweet. Likes and replies don't tell the full story, obviously, since most people tend to scroll past the majority of content on their feed without stopping to engage.
In theory, the View Count feature will share a broader view of the whole picture. According to the description of the feature from Twitter, Views are defined as "Times [a] Tweet was seen on Twitter."
Despite this definition, there seems to be some confusion over whether View Count actually shows views or if it's only showing impressions. And impressions and views aren't necessarily the same thing.
View counts usually only count views from users who have "viewed" your content for a meaningful amount of time, generally a few seconds or more. Impressions typically count all the times your content has been shown on a platform, which includes users who scrolled past without pausing to read or watch.
For now, it's unclear if this truly is a new metric that measures time on post or if it's just the impressions count, available through private account analytics, made public.
How to See Twitter View Count
Although the roll out of this feature is still in progress, if you have access to View Count, you don't have to go far to find it. Like Retweets, Quote Tweets, and Likes, Views shows up right underneath a Tweet. There's no setting you have to toggle or extra button you have to click to see it.
For now, the new stat is all the way to the left, right next to comments. The icon looks like a little graph. In fact, this is the same icon you'll see on your own Tweets in order to access your private analytics metrics. This is true on both desktop and mobile.
When you click on the Tweet to see the thread and replies beneath it, you'll see an expanded version of the stats. In this expanded version, Views and Likes are side-by-side, giving an immediate comparison.
Why Can't I See Twitter View Count?
If you've been seeing tons of Tweets complaining about the new View Count and have no idea what they're talking about because your Twitter experience still looks the same, don't worry. As of writing this, the feature is still very much in beta and has not been rolled out to all users on all platforms.
That means you might not have access to View Count yet, depending on the account you're logged into and whether you're using desktop or mobile. For example, while researching for this article, I noticed that I could see View Count on mobile but not on desktop, even though I was logged in to the same account.
I also noticed a pretty strange bug with the mobile app.
View Count was only available to me on mobile the first time I opened the Twitter app after downloading it. If I exited the app then reopened it, View Count disappeared. I had to delete and redownload the app every time to see the feature again.
These bugs should resolve as the developers finalize the design and function of the feature and finish rolling it out to all Twitter users.
Is Twitter View Count Accurate?
It's recently come to light that the Twitter View Count has some serious accuracy issues.
In the above Twitter thread, journalist Taylor Lorenz describes how tweets published on a private account with no followers racked up 200+ "views" within the first few minutes of being published.
There's no way those tweets could have actually earned any views. So, what's happening here? Are private accounts compromised? Is Twitter counting your own viewing of the tweet as a view?
Lorenz posits that it might be because of improper coding triggering internal events as views.
And if that's true, then View Count doesn't actually mean much.
Good news, I guess, if you were feeling bad that 872 people saw your joke but only two people liked it. Bad news if you're trying to use this metric to inform your social media strategy.
It's possible that Twitter will fix this sometime soon, but given the general state of things over there, it doesn't seem likely.
Hopefully this article has answered some of your questions about the new Twitter View Count feature. For more of the latest creator news, tips, and trends, check out our Resources Library and visit our YouTube Channel. We make new content every week.Create content faster with Kapwing's online video editor →