Twitter users speculate that the view count is too high for advertisers

Twitter users are speculating that the social media company’s new view count feature is fake or misleading.

The feature, added last week, reportedly shows the total number of views a given tweet has received. The user who posted the tweet can then see how many people have interacted with the tweet or visited their account from the tweet, features that were already present under Twitter’s analytics. The number of views open to the public is new, and users speculate that the views are disabled.

“I created a suspended account with zero followers. I just sent a tweet. Since I have no followers and the account is suspended, this tweet should not be visible to anyone. It has 12 views,” one user wrote.

Another user speculated that the view count could be inflated to allow Twitter boss Elon Musk to show advertisers an increased number of active users on the platform.

“A common strategy of Republican politicians is to constantly accuse the opposition of doing dirty tricks that you do yourself,” he says wrote. “Would be interesting if Elon essentially uses bots to boost views to suggest to advertisers how engaged a Twitter audience is.”

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment emailed Tuesday afternoon.

The company’s definition of what counts as a “view” further complicates matters.

“Anyone who views your tweet counts as a view, regardless of where they see your tweet (e.g. home page, search, profiles, tweets embedded in articles, etc.) or whether they follow you or not. Even an author looking at their own tweet counts as a view,” according to Twitter’s FAQ page said.

Twitter also said that multiple views can be counted from different access points.

“Multiple views can be counted if you view a tweet more than once, but not all views are unique. For example, you could look at a tweet on the web and then on your phone, and that would count as two views,” the FAQ page reads.

Users on Twitter did not buy this statement.

“Twitter views are FICTIONAL to trick advertisers,” said one user wrote.

“Don’t worry about views on Twitter, they’re completely fake,” another wrote.

Musk has had a hard time attracting and attracting advertisers since he bought Twitter, even writing a letter to advertisers this fall asking them to stay on the platform.

Users have questioned Twitter’s analytics for years, with some claiming that the numbers may be inflated due to the bots on the platform.

The feature rolled out last week, but Musk has already indicated his willingness to allow users to disable the number of views their tweets have.


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*Initial publication: December 27, 2022 at 3:24 pm CST

Jacob Seitz

Jacob Seitz is a freelance journalist originally from Columbus, Ohio, interested in the intersection of culture and politics.

Jacob Seitz Twitter users speculate that the view count is too high for advertisers

Jaclyn Diaz

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