Those two boxes on Mashable.com's article snippets (like the revamp by the way!) contain re-tweet and Facebook share boxes. I mean... do they fill a function, other than making Mashable.com look busy and active? There can be many reasons for re-tweeting... good and bad reasons. I like easy to find links that will help me export content, but I'm not sure on the big count... Reminds me of old websites with visitor counts that looked like old alarm clocks.
Do tweet and FB count boxes bring added value when reading an article?