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Twitter Begins Pilot of New Feature

According to various Twitter users, the social network has recently begun experimenting with a new feature that shows each user the exact number of views that his or her individual tweets receive.

If implemented past its beta testing phase, this new feature will revolutionize Twitter in that it will provide social media users with the most important data: how many people actually see what they share.  While likes, comments, favorites and retweets currently exist to indicate to users how many people are viewing their updates, this service will allow for a much more accurate picture.

“When you post on a social network, it’s almost like trying to give a presentation from behind a curtain. You know who’s invited and supposed to be listening, but you don’t know who is actually there in the room,” said Stanford assistant professor Michael S. Bernstein.

According to a Buzzfeed article, this new service goes hand in hand with Twitter’s decision to place the favorite, retweet and follow buttons inside user timelines on mobile apps, an idea which reportedly increased favorites and retweets by more than 35% since it was implemented. All of these newly implemented features are designed to increase interactions and engagement between users on the site, thereby allowing users to gain the optimal experience.

Christie Merino / Gavel Media

Christie Merino / Gavel Media

This new innovation for Twitter may be considered overdue, based on the fact that apps such as Snapchat, Kik, Line, WhatsApp, and even Apple’s iMessage already offer “read receipts” to users. This new trend in technology offers users a more realistic sense of their audience size and its level of engagement.

According to an article on The Verge, the feature is also designed to increase the amount that each individual Twitter user tweets. With the new view counts, Twitter users who have smaller amounts of followers and favorites or retweets will be reassured that someone is reading their content, and will be encouraged to post more.

On the other hand, if a user has many followers and only a small percentage of them are viewing his or her tweets, this may discourage said user from tweeting. However, the feature will allow users to recognize which tweets spark the most interest among their followers. Though the feature does not distinguish which users have viewed the tweet in the same way that favorites and retweets are delineated, it will allow users to categorize which tweets generate the most interest.

Only time will tell if this experiment will have the desired effect, so keep an eye out to see whether the view count service will be extended to the entire Twitter population.

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Native Massachusetts girl with an addiction to coffee in all its glorious forms. In love with cities she’s not yet visited & shamelessly obsessed with anything J. Crew. Proudly owning the term ‘basic.'