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by Ben González and Chris Boudreaux

Twitter_bird Dont Replace TweetMeme With Twitter Button (yet)

A lot of folks are still confused about whether they should replace existing TweetMeme buttons with Twitter’s new Tweet button (more info on the Twitter blog), and we recommend the following:

  • For content created prior to July 2010, maintain your TweetMeme button.
  • For content created during or after July 2010, you can use the Twitter button.
  • For blog content, we’re stuck. Blog posts created prior to July need to maintain the Tweetmeme button, but posts created since July 2010 can use the Twitter button. However, the TweetMeme and Twitter plugins do not let you apply the button by post, or based on publish date. You must apply it to all posts or no posts. NOTE: While Twitter has not published a WordPress plugin, a few community members have, for example: here and here.

As of today, the Tweet button from Twitter shows lower tweet counts than existing buttons from TweetMeme. If you replace your TweetMeme buttons, your visitors will see lower tweet counts that on the Twitter button, versus the TweetMeme button.

For example, See this screen shot of Chris Boudreaux’s social media research database on SocialMediaGovernance.com for a quick glance at what the two buttons look like together:

(click to enlarge)

SocialMediaGovernance.com Screen Shot

You can see in the image that Chris added the new, light blue Twitter button to the right of his existing green TweetMeme button, and the two display dramatically different counts (210 for TweetMeme and 76 for Twitter).

While TweetMeme has been working with Twitter for months, Twitter began counting “… a couple of weeks before the launch of the Tweet Button. This means links which have been shared on Twitter before July 2010 will not contribute towards the count”, according to Twitter FAQ.

Therefore, if you trade the TweetMeme button for the Twitter button on content that existed prior to July 2010, your visitors will not see the true count of tweets you have earned.

If you use both buttons, you should review the FAQ on Twitter.com to avoid duplicating content. (See: “I want to use multiple Tweet Buttons on my page. Is there anything I should know?”)

For some, the quibbles of style that pop up by cluttering your articles with two Twitter share buttons are irrelevant when the count is king. Others will default to Twitter’s crisp aesthetic.

You should also consider Twitter’s new ability to auto-suggest up to two relevant accounts after a user retweets, as one potential reason for deploying the new Twitter button.

In any case, we are very interested in hearing your experiences and insights which can help to inform decisions regarding which buttons to deploy.

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