Now, Twitter says that the count API is private, but come on.. Seriously? You’re sending count information to every Tweet button being displayed anywhere, how private can that really be?
Turns out it’s not private at all. It’s just hidden.
To get the tweet count for any URL, simply do a GET for this:
What you’ll get back will look like this:
Some of you may recognize that as a JSON callback. Basically, they’re using part of their @anywhere system to receive the count and update the button accordingly. Not surprising, the whole tweet button is built on top of the anywhere code. But it’s kinda useless to us in this format, since we need to be able to define our callback appropriately instead of using theirs. No worries, just add a callback parameter yourself:
Obviously, they didn’t release this information because they’re concerned about scaling, and probably rightfully so. Still, if you want that count, you can get it. Just don’t abuse it.