Yeah I see your point. Thanks for sharing that. But regarding distinguishing between what one liked, and what one liked more, I have an intuition that UX wise, multiple claps won’t assist in doing that. I don’t have the data yet, but I strongly feel that readers aren’t so invested that they would take the pains of hitting the clap many many times. Past solutions ( FB, Twitter, Insta etc) have already created the habit of one click or one tap tasks. It will be hard to modify that. Your best bet is to have three kinda clap buttons — 5, 10 and Very Many. So that with one tap, user can express the calibrated love.
I would love to hear the results of your clap experiments. Anything publicly available. Like frequency distribution of one clap, two clap etc.. to see how users are interacting with this feature.