Elon Musk’s Plan to Hide Like Counts and Retweets Is Going to Make Twitter Boring as Hell

Elon Musk’s Plan to Hide Like Counts and Retweets Is Going to Make Twitter Boring as Hell

For more than a decade, Twitter has been the Internet’s water cooler, a place where people can find the topics driving the day. The like, retweet, and favorite counts were crucial to this system, letting people quickly see what conversations were burning up and motivating them to get in on the action. The system wasn’t broken, but the platform’s new owner Elon Musk didn’t like it—so he says he’s going to break it himself.

In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Musk announced that like, retweet, and favorite counts would be disappearing from the main feed of his social media network, now called X, in a future design change. At first glance, there doesn’t appear to be a profound reason behind this. Instead, Musk simply wants to make the feed “cleaner.”

The news came by way of the DogeDesigner, or @cbdoge, an X power user and Musk ally. DogeDesigner said that soon users will have to click on the post to view these metrics. Musk confirmed the plan in a reply, stating that only view counts will be shown.

“Very clean,” Musk said in another reply to Adrian Dittmann. “I’ve been dying to do this for a year.”

The billionaire went on to state that the view count, the only visible metric for engagement on posts, will be moved to the upper right of the post next to the time stamp. To engage with the post in this new design, users will have to swipe right to reply and swipe left to favorite.


As explained by Musk, clicking on the post will, in theory, display like, repost, and favorite counts, though it’s not clear whether the layout of how these metrics are shown will change too. Currently, the likes, reposts, and favorites are displayed at the bottom of each post.

Early reactions from users indicated that they were, for the most part, not fans of Musk’s plan. Some pointed out that this change will make engagement fall on the platform, while others complained that it’ll make it harder to ratio people, a popular practice where people demonstrate their disagreement by commenting (usually with insults) or quoting the original post.

“I don’t want a cleaner main timeline,” the user @Brick_Suit, who has more than 176,000 followers, said in reply to Musk’s plan. “I want to be able to look at my timeline and know where the action is. Which posts are people liking? Which posts are getting replies?”

Other users urged Musk to consider the popular opinion before making such big changes. Nick Sorter, an independent journalist affiliated with right-wing media outlets, started a poll on the change within minutes of Musk’s announcement. As of the publication of this article, it had 7,226 votes, with 87.2% voting against getting rid of like, repost, and engagement counts. Only 12.8% had voted yes.

“Remember: Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Sorter said, a reference to a Latin phrase frequently used by Musk that means: “The voice of the people is the voice of God.”

There isn’t even a business case for removing these metrics. While view counts, or impressions, are important to advertisers, engagements are gold. They signal more interest in the post or brand and have more staying power in people’s minds.

When I first read about Musk’s plan on X—which could fizzle before it’s ever put in place—the first thing I thought about was Threads. While I was truly excited about Meta’s alternative to Twitter, I rarely ever use it.

People are nice over there, don’t get me wrong, but conversation moves at a snail’s pace. I don’t ever expect to find breaking news on Threads and find it hard to discover interesting topics because of the lack of public like counts and reposts. Comment counts are visible, but they don’t really inspire me to go add my two cents to the conversation. Frankly, Threads is boring. I really wish it wasn’t because it would be great to get off this hell site.

It’s really strange to see Musk moving towards turning X into a copy of Threads. It also doesn’t make sense for him to want this given how addicted he is to X. By all means, Musk is going to be spending a lot more time on the toilet, which is one of the places he claims to spend the most time scrolling through X, if he removes these metrics and has to click on every single post that interests him to see if it’s hot or not among the public.

I hope it makes his ass hurt.

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