September 11, 2012

Is TweetMeme missing half of your tweets?

Same story, different results: 0 tweets tallied on TweetMeme, 39 on TweetButton.

Compare it to the TweetButton plug-in & let us know the results!

JD LasicaTweeteme is a company we love and admire — and more than 640,000 people have downloaded the TweetMeme plug-in for WordPress.

We’d been using TweetMeme (@TweetMeme on Twitter) for years on and our sister site, Socialbrite, until we conducted a comparative test late last week. And TweetMeme lost, big time.

Our chief developer, David Davis, founder of DCGWS Internet Solutions in Manila, whipped up a Tweet Button plug-in for WordPress back in 2010, which I wrote about as the second open-source plug-in we contributed to the WordPress community. Heavily based on TweetMeme, it pulls directly from the Twitter API to provide info on how many times your blog post has been retweeted on Twitter.

It’s a David and Goliath story, with the TweetButton plug-in having 6,529 downloads compared with the TweetMeme Button‘s 640,866 downloads.

TweetMeme appears to be undercounting retweets

So imagine our surprise when we accidentally discovered on Friday that TweetMeme has been undercounting our tweets — sometimes dramatically.

Consider my Socialbrite article on How to use social media for students & schools.

TweetMeme says it garnered this many retweets on Twitter: 0.

In actuality, TweetButton says it was tweeted out 39 times.

Or take Chris Abraham’s blog post, Remove those regrettable online reputation tattoos.

TweetMeme says it received 19 retweets.

TweetButton says, hold on, it actually got 73 retweets.

Or Ayelet Noff’s piece on the Pioneers conference.

TweetMeme says it got 18 retweets.

TweetButton? 57.

That, as we say, is a significant fail rate. (And yes, this is an apples to apples comparison: We’re using TweetMeme version 2.3 and TweetButton version 2.0.)

We asked TweetMeme about this on Monday but haven’t received a response yet. TweetMeme, if you read this, we’d love to hear your explanation. Developer Davis’s theory: “TweetMeme must pulling from a different API. How else to explain it?”

Do you use TweetMeme? Go ahead, install TweetButton, have it show up next to TweetMeme, and let us know if it shows similar results. We’d love to know — please add your findings to the comments below.

And, you know what? Please retweet this!

Update: Tweetmeme announced it is shutting down as of Oct. 1, 2012.

JD Lasica, founder of, is now co-founder of the cruise discovery engine Cruiseable. See his About page, contact JD or follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.

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3 thoughts on “Is TweetMeme missing half of your tweets?

  1. I wonder if TweetMeme is only counting tweets that go through their own API? I have noticed this behavior with other services as well.

    •  @deltina  Since TweetMeme’s button predates the release of Twitter’s tweets API, I’ll bet that’s a good guess. I’m surprised TweetMeme didn’t update their plug-in, since it seems to be a workaround now instead of pulling directly from Twitter itself. (Thanks, Sharel!)