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Elon Musk Announces Rollout Of View Counts Under Tweets—And Twitter Users Are All Thinking The Same Thing

Now you can see how many people saw your tweet and chose not to interact with it.

Elon Musk
Saul Martinez/Getty Images

Twitter users all had the same thought on their minds after billionaire Elon Musk announced the social media platform started rolling out view counts under tweets.

The rollout wasn't entirely unexpected because Musk said at the beginning of December Twitter would "start showing view count for all tweets." The new feature is similar to features on online platforms like YouTube that show how many times content has been viewed.

Musk announced Twitter users who "read tweets outnumber those who" simply reply, retweet, or like tweets, noting Twitter "will start showing view count for all tweets, just as view count is shown for all videos.

He added:

"The system is far more alive than it would seem."

You can see Musk's tweet below.

Musk later noted tweets "are read 100 times more than they are liked."

Critics of the change pointed out the move is likely designed to appeal to advertisers who have abandoned Twitter amid concerns about Musk's stewardship.

Musk repeatedly insisted Twitter needs to go private if it wants to become a platform for free speech, though he has already come under fire for silencing his critics and spreading misinformation.

But some major corporations have not been happy with changes or his behavior since acquiring the platform in October.

Several high-profile companies, including General Mills and Volkswagen, confirmed to CNN they would pause advertisements on Twitter due to concerns about Musk's ownership of the platform. Others, like Toyota and Interpublic Group, the parent company of Coca-Cola, also recommended their clients pause advertising on Twitter.

Musk has even gone so far as to attack companies that have distanced themselves from Twitter since he took the reins, at one point attacking Apple for deciding to stop advertising and accusing the company of threatening to “withhold” Twitter from the iOS App Store.

After previously declaring Twitter is on the verge of bankruptcy, Musk's move—as chaotic as all of his prior decisons—appears to exist solely to court advertisers who might otherwise only measure their success on the platform by the number of actual engagements.

And Twitter users could see right through it.

The decision to show view counts under tweets is largely redundant because Twitter Analytics—accessible via a user's personal dashboard—already shows users how their audience is responding to their content.

Ironically, the decision is likely to draw away those who would otherwise not feel discouraged by a lack of audience interaction were it not for the blaring statistic informing them—and others—of their failure to launch on the platform, hemorrhaging Twitter's userbase.

Many were clearly not happy with the change for that reason.

Twitter's cratering fortunes have also hurt Musk's business interests and earlier this week Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren announced she had written a letter inquiring about the harm Musk has caused to Tesla's investors.

Earlier this week, Warren—who has spent her career focusing on consumer protection, equitable economic opportunity and the social safety net—noted Musk is still the chief executive of the automotive company despite recently acquiring the social media platform Twitter.

Warren suggested it is worth investigating whether Musk is "creating conflicts of interest" and "misappropriating company resources" because Tesla "is not Musk's private plaything."

Twitter has been mired in scandal since Musk acquired it in October and criticisms about Musk's content moderation policies and commitment to freedom of speech have raised questions about Musk's capacity to lead. His actions have caused Tesla to lose almost a third of its value since the Twitter acquisition was finalized.

Warren said in her letter to Tesla's board that the board has “failed to meet” its “legal duty” to ensure Musk is not treating the company as his “private plaything.” She pointed out that Musk’s deal to purchase the social media platform gave Tesla $1 billion in yearly interest payments to make, an amount that exceeds its annual cash flow.