Twitter button use on the decline

Who really uses twitter buttons anymore?

In 2012 20.02 percent of tweets with links to major news sites came from Twitter buttons. In 2013, the usage of the buttons dropped to 12.61 percent

Joshua Benton of niemanlab does a great job pulling these stats and offering five explanations why:

  • People are more comfortable manually copying and pasting a link into a tweet than they used to be.
  • People are consuming more of their media on smartphones, where mobile layouts often omit sharing buttons.
  • People are both discovering and sharing links more on Twitter than they used to.
  • News sites are deemphasizing Tweet Buttons in their layouts.
  • News sites are building their own custom share-on-Twitter buttons that don’t show up as the official Twitter-supplied Tweet Button.

He ends up determining that even at 10% it’s still worthwhile to have twitter buttons on your articles. I especially like how at the end of the article there are tweet buttons. I like his analysis even more. Very curious is how he gathered that information. I’d love to know if he used the Twitter API to scrap it, or some other tool.

With buttons. I dunno. I kinda like buttons. Buttons are fun. It’s like going to the Museum of Science and Industry as a kid and just running around pushing all the buttons. I honestly think that is half the appeal with Facebook’s “like button” (note, not the “like” link when it’s merely text, but the “like” button).

Who really uses these buttons to tweet?

The tweet buttons have always been kinda weird, IMHO. Who uses them? I might be wrong, but I feel like the end users who use tweet buttons tend to be not as internet savvy. It would be cool to cross-reference Joshua Benton’s research with Klout score. Do users with lower Klout scores use the twitter buttons? Although, that would be assuming that users with a high Klout score are internet savvy—which is not always the case.

What we need is an authority rank, not a popularity rank. Wait, not even that. Klout really kinda does take care of authority rank. What we need is an originality rank mixed in with an interesting rank. Who posts original interesting tweets?

And THEN, do those people use twitter buttons? I’m guessing not.

But at that point if you have an interesting-originality rank, you’ve got a mighty powerful tool to do other analyses.

3 comments

  1. Matt Maldre

    Perhaps I should have used really low numbers in the twitter buttons in the background. Including very high numbers kinda contradicts the question the guy is asking.

  2. Mike Maddaloni - @thehotiron

    Interesting you have a button here. :)
    I still believe in buttons and always look for them. That being said, I don’t like what some sites do with their buttons. I don’t feel I need to authenticate to their site with Twitter just to tweet, nor do I like how some use a layered box to pre-populate the tweet in small text.
    Sharing will always be an integral part of the Internet, and buttons, until something better comes along, will be the way for a while.
    mp/m

    • Matt Maldre

      Yeah! Oh the irony! A twitter button on a post about how twitter buttons are on the decline.

      In theory, it should be easy to just hit the tweet button and tweet. However, the point you bring up about the variations of how the twitter buttons function is one of the reasons why I avoid them. It’s just easier for me to copy the link and headline into the twitter box.

      But yeah, the internet is all about sharing. Totally. That’s why it’s nice how the author of the article mentioned in this blog post concludes that even if 10% of the links to your post on twitter are from a twitter button–that it’s still worth having the twitter button on your site. You don’t want to lose that 10%.

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