X Considers Removing User Interaction Elements from Posts, Keeping Only ‘Views’ Metric

    X Considers Removing User Interaction Elements from Posts, Keeping Only ‘Views’ Metric:- X is contemplating eliminating all indicators of user interaction and interaction buttons from posts, leaving only the ‘Views’ metric intact.

    X Considers Removing User Interaction Elements from Posts Keeping Only 'Views' Metric

    Sure, this will require some careful thought.

    Just yesterday, after a recent overhaul of link previews on X, where preview cards now exclusively show the header image, company owner Elon Musk shared another update about the future of the X user interface.

    All the engagement metrics and interactive buttons, except for the ‘views’ counter, which X reintroduced in December following Musk’s request, will soon disappear from the feed and will only be accessible when you expand a post to view its details.

    So, over time, posts displayed in the stream will have a similar appearance:
    This appears to have several shortcomings for various reasons.

    Firstly, this change will lead to a decrease in post interactions, a phenomenon we’ve observed from Instagram’s experiment with hidden like counts in 2019. Studies indicated that post engagement decreased notably for influencers located in the regions where the test was conducted, as the absence of visible metrics directly influenced user behavior.

    One would expect comparable effects on the total number of reposts, as actions by peers are likely to influence broader behaviors to some extent.

    This might not necessarily be negative, as our actions should ideally be based on our personal reactions rather than how others engage. However, considering that likes and retweets also play a role in determining post reach, as indicated by X’s openly shared algorithm, it’s highly likely that many platform influencers, who currently aim to increase engagement to enhance their ad revenue, will be unhappy if this change is put into effect.

    Instagram also mentioned that individuals frequently utilize like counts as a way to gauge what is currently trending or popular, and their removal had an impact on this aspect. X is known for its real-time engagement and trends, so this would probably be an even more significant factor in this situation.

    In essence, eliminating the options for immediate responses and their associated counts will inevitably result in their reduced usage. Considering X’s recent disclosure that most of its app activity revolves around reposts and quotes, it’s probable that overall activity on the platform will experience a substantial decline.

    Looking at it from a certain angle, this could be seen as a positive development. Previous research has indicated that reposting and the simplicity of resharing content on the platform significantly contribute to the spread of misinformation. Therefore, this change might help restrict the dissemination of fake news. However, X will need to convince its advertising partners and users that reduced engagement can be beneficial.

    To provide some context, X has stated that it presently observes 500 million daily posts, with 300 million of them consisting of reposts and quotes.

    Depending on the implementation of this change, it could also affect the sharing of posts, as the share icon might receive less prominence in the updated interface. This would, in turn, restrict the extent of expanded discussion and interaction.

    X has additionally explained that it intends to introduce more gesture controls as an alternative, such as double-tapping to indicate a liking response and swiping to reply. However, I don’t believe these gestures will be as effective, especially considering that the removal of engagement numbers could potentially have a more significant impact.

    However, on the other hand, is it possible that this approach could be successful?

    The advantages could include reduced competition for superficial metrics, with a greater emphasis on post reach. This shift could place more importance on the quality of post content itself, and it might even lead to an increase in direct post interactions, such as expanding posts and clicking through links.

    Transitioning exclusively to view numbers would align X’s metric presentation more closely with how YouTube displays metrics. Considering X’s growing emphasis on video content, this move could also be seen as a logical step.

    Nonetheless, it would constitute a substantial change that would require an adjustment period for many users.

    The challenge lies in the fact that X needs to maximize its revenue to recover from its financial losses and address the substantial debt it has accumulated. Given this, can X withstand lower-than-expected performance and its resulting consequences in the short term, while users adapt to this new display?

    X Considers Removing User Interaction Elements from Posts, Keeping Only ‘Views’ Metric

    In essence, the outcome of this move is relatively predictable, as we’ve already witnessed a similar test with Instagram. The question is whether it’s worth implementing as a method to reshape user behaviors and reform the dynamics of in-app engagement.

    It’s a risky strategy, but I suppose that’s Elon Musk’s approach, so… best of luck?


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