I was scrolling down a list of posts, and at some point during scrolling I would start seeing these buttons “1 replies”, “2 replies” etc. fade in… but then I’d scroll up and I wouldn’t see the button… it looks like these are set to fade in when you hover over, or when they’re in a certain section of the viewport. This is very confusing, because if you’re scrolling down fast, then notice a reply and want to go back to it, it’s hard to find unless you scroll up the page enough where it fades into view. Why make it fade in and out at all?
On tablets there is no fade, because there is no such thing as hover – try it there and see what you think.
The main reason is to keep the visual noise down so you can focus on the primary activity: reading.
We no longer fade out the replies counter at the bottom left on desktop, since it is a) not really duplicate information per post at all b) fairly significant information attached to the post and c) allows people to expand replies in place.
So reply counter/expansion is no longer faded out on desktop.
(Contrast with the post controls which are near-exact duplicate on every post…)