I'm no more finding shares counter of post at Tutsplus!


#1

Hi there,

Since before the new changes appeared at tutsplus preview, i remember that posts share counter was appearing per each post. This highly help to give indications of how tutorials and topics are important.

Are these share counters still available(i might couldn’t find), or it has been removed?!


#2

Hi @Morad! Good spot :slight_smile: We have recently removed those social share counts, as they were becoming increasingly inaccurate (with things like Twitter turning off their API for reporting this information).

There isn’t really an equivalent metric you could use at the moment, but we’re giving some more thought to this…


#3

As an editor, I’m always looking for insights about how people use our website and how they find the tutorials they’re interested in. It’s very interesting to me that the share count worked like an indicator of what pieces were interesting to others, and in turn might be worth reading.

@ianyates, thinking about this from a web design perspective, what kinds of tools/patterns/techniques are good for this kind of quick indication? Comment count, maybe? Bookmarks/saves? I guess it’s really a question of what you want people to do with a page. Maybe an “I completed this” type of feature. Do we have any tutorials/courses about this?

@Morad, given that the shares feature is not workable anymore, what would you like to see in it’s place?


#4

Maybe i’m not experienced enough to mention some unique feature for this purpose, but maybe “Like” button, “Number of Views” counter or “Comments” counter.

I think if you highly interested in some featured idea, so we have to publicly let the community members here to say their suggestions.


#5

This is an interesting topic, and the arguments for all sides are pretty compelling! Arguments against displaying share counts are usually things like:

  • Performance: requesting the extra JS from social platforms to display share counts isn’t insignificant.
  • UX: adding more layers of distraction doesn’t do the actual content any favours.
  • Twitter stopped: we can no longer use Twitter’s figures anyway, so the numbers we’re left with are less dependable.
  • True value: do share and comment figures accurately represent the value of a tutorial or article? Comment threads can often be huge, purely thanks to trolls and/or negative comments. Pandering to social media popularity doesn’t always mean striving for quality.

The arguments for are most often:

  • More sharing: the presence of share figures encourages further sharing.
  • Proof: when scanning, an article which has been shared lots relative to others is perceived to be worth looking at. Share counts help readers filter.
  • Social: without any evidence of community interaction, a sense of loneliness is created (“Am I the only one reading this thing?”). Share and comment counts show that there’s a conversation going on. On a community-based website like Tuts+, where our audience is our strength, a lack of emotional connection is a serious handicap.

If we do decide we want our share figures back, there is the possibility of grabbing Twitter’s numbers through a third part service like http://opensharecount.com (note: I’ve never actually used this).


#6

Super good and fascinating answer, @ianyates! The bits about emotion seem spot-on.