An article by the Guardian last week sparked a discussion on Twitter about the difference between the numbers shown on a ‘tweet’ share count button and the number of retweets.
Official Twitter RTs have been around since 2009. When a tweet is retweeted in this way Twitter does not treat it as a separate tweet so the RT does not have a separate URL. Twitter measures RTs by the number of times the original tweet was RTed.
Share count buttons
The share count buttons on a news story show the number of times the story URL has been tweeted out. It includes RTs as the they carry the URL. This number will therefore be greater than the number of RTs.
For example, this Journalism.co.uk story on 100 Twitter accounts every journalism student should follow received 131 RTs, according to My Top Tweets (see below).
The URL of the story was shared 1,735 times on Twitter, according to LinkTally (see below).
Three handy Twitter tools
Online tools for analysing your top tweets, the number of times and article has been shared and how many people your tweet has reached.
This shows the most RTed tweets from a particular Twitter account.
This measures how many times a URL has been shared. It shows share numbers for Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
This measures how many people each tweet reaches.