Retweets are dead. Long live the Comments.

Let me show you a magic trick. I can read your mind.

Think about something that frustrates you with Twitter.

Think about it hard.

Let’s see…

Does it happen right after you post that perfectly crafted tweet you came up with in the shower and spent 47 minutes writing?

Does it have to do with … numbers?

Numbers of… followers, no…

Oh, I know! It is the fact that whatever you post on Twitter, not a f*cking soul seems to see it because the Algorithm HATES you and will give you like 4 views?

What happened with the Twitter engagements?

A week ago, I spent hours analyzing one of my favorite newsletters – from a SaaS company called Sunsama. And even more hours designing and presenting my findings in a thread.

As I knew getting traction on threads and tweets nowadays, I even DM’d some of my Twitter friends to make them aware that I posted something they might enjoy (as it most certainly wouldn’t show up in their feed).

People loved it. At least the few that saw it. Within an hour or so, over 15 people retweeted it. Got lots of positive replies to my initial DMs. The result? 2454 views. Twothousandfivehundredandfour views. That’s not even enough to buy a cup of coffee!

As my frustration grew (ok, let me be clear here: I’m not saying I know everything I’m creating is amazing and completely breath-taking per se. But people were TELLING ME it was a great piece.) I posted a screenshot of my measly 2454 views. Complaining into the void.


I was lucky. An epiphany hit me. And its name was Stephen and Rob.

The algorithm is constantly changing. And it is always changing in favor of the company owning the platform. Yes, when one type of content becomes popular, Twitter will show more of that. But not because they want to give you more of what you like. But because if you get more of what you like, you’ll stay longer.

And if you stay longer, they can show you more ads.

Twitter recently started pushing ads into the comment section (kinda like when the waiter pops by when you are about to kiss your date for the first time and “caaaan I show you the Today’s Specials?!” That’s what we all want…).

So if ads are coming to the comment section, Elon wants more people to hang out in the comments:

💡 Tweets where lots of people comment will be rewarded with more reach and more views.

Want to decipher the algorithm? Follow the money.

How to write comment-worthy Tweets

Have you ever had a Twitter poll go viral? Me neither.

Last week I wanted help from my Twitter friends to decide on a name for my new ebook. A month ago, I would’ve posted a poll. Not now. Not with my new, secret insight.

I started where I start all projects – small or big. By spending too much time designing a visual. I wanted people to comment on their favorite names. I even added a number on each, so people didn’t have to write the entire name.

I wanted to make it just as simple as clicking a button in the poll – remove all friction. The result?

22 comments, no retweets – but twice the views as my mega-thread!

I’ve since tried several tweets where I optimize for comments, and they always gain more traction. My recent give-away (where I asked people to comment “🌶” – not retweet – brought in 120k views)

Comments seem much more powerful for gaining traction than likes or comments. Optimize for comments by:

  • Don’t ask people to retweet
  • Ending with a question as often as possible
  • Make people choose
  • Say stuff that is controversial
  • Ask for people’s feedback

As ads are just being rolled out in the comments, I’m sure we will see even more growth for tweets and threads that are well-commented!