These are all good things!
I’d like to add one: as this is a new kind of interaction, many users (really a lot) don’t realize the comparison with the real applause and, relying on numbers, they don’t know what the number of claps chosen looks like.
My thought is to take the five stars rating system and mix it with Claps.
Every star has a hint of what it means, so the user can check with a written, specific, sentence if his vote represent what he meant.
In Claps, 1–9 could have a “I appreciate your commitment” meaning.
10–19, “I liked your work”.
20–29, “Hey, you rock!”.
30–39, “I’m amazed of this all”.
40–49, “I think I’m in love with your post”.
50, “This is the best thing I could have ever spent my time on”.
Those text could appear on a label beside the clap button, always visible (maybe with a “Unclapped” string in no-claps case, or an empty one). Or, they can popup (like floating balloons or fixed messages) while the user is clapping.
I think this thing could give users the feedback they need in order to understand the meaning of their claps and, more important, a solid, plain, equable way to share the same applause value across users from everywhere with different native approaches.