X Considers Removing Engagement Counts

Elon Musk announces plans to remove engagement counts from X UI, leaving only views. It also removes the unnecessary phrase “fresh off of” and combines the two sentences about Musk’s announcement into one.

X to remove interaction counts and action buttons from feeds, leaving only views. These will still be visible within post details.

Removing engagement counts and action buttons from X is likely to have a number of impacts, including:

  • Reduced post engagement: Research has shown that hiding engagement counts can lead to a significant decline in post interactions, especially for influencers.
  • Reduced re-posts: Peer actions can influence user behaviour, so it is likely that there will be fewer re-posts if engagement metrics are not visible.
  • Impact on influencer revenue: Many influencers rely on engagement to boost their ad revenue share, so they are likely to be unhappy with this change.
  • Reduced sense of what’s trending: People often use engagement counts to get a sense of what’s popular, so removing them could make it more difficult for users to discover new content.
  • Reduced overall activity on the platform: If engagement counts and action buttons are removed, it’s likely that people will be less likely to interact with content on the platform.

Removing engagement counts and action buttons could also reduce post sharing and discussion. X has said it will implement more gesture controls as an alternative, but it is unclear how effective these will be.

On the plus side, this change could reduce competition on vanity metrics and put more emphasis on the post content itself. It would also bring X more into line with YouTube’s metric display.

However, it is important to consider that X needs to maximize revenue to break even and pay off its debt. It is unclear whether X can weather lower engagement performance in the short term.

Overall, it is difficult to predict whether this change will be successful. We have seen that removing engagement counts can reduce post interactions, but it is unclear whether the benefits of this change outweigh the costs.

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