A very interesting development from Twitter. It seems that they are aiming to monetize their stats on their Social Shares via GNIP (which has a record of all Tweets going back to the very start). I had some conversations with GNIP a couple of years back. The product was fine, the price seemed high but most of all, it seemed difficult. It was an enterprise sale with all the complexity that entails.
More to the point however, Twitter has always struck me as a huge game with no particular rules EXCEPT that the feedback was the victory. Without the feedback, Twitter rather loses its point.
People are pretty alarmed - see the below conversation between a Developer and Twitter.
appscreo Shutting down counter for Tweet button will make a dramatic negative social proof to all sites that base their social strategy on Twitter. Imagine how a page with 11 000 Tweets will look in social once you shut down the counter and displaying simply zero. As DustingWScout write this will made many people unhappy and move to other social networks. You should consider creating end point for developers that will allow to get share counter for particular address and display it... Niall - Twitter Staff The Tweet button will not display a count of zero. The count component of the Tweet button will be removed in the new design...