We are all quite familiar with the 140 character Twitter text messages that we call tweets. But not everybody is aware of the rapidly growing visual nature of Twitter.
We have been seeing,for a while, the use of media links in tweets. But, now it is becoming even easier and more effective to include images, whenever they are relevant.
In the past, you needed to click and expand the tweet to be able to view its media addition. However, Twitter has now introduced an in-line feature that allows you to view photos and/or media without having to click on a link to expand the tweet. The image is right there as you scroll through your twitter feed.
Gone are the days of plain looking streams of text.
How Twitter Pictures Are Being Used
Below you can see how images have been used to great effect to make tweets stand out from the crowd.
The first is a tweet by Brandon Schaefer and I think you would agree that the inserted video definitely catches the eye long before the text does.
The 2nd example comes from Search Engine Land. Here a video by Google’s Matt Cutts has been tweeted and again, there is no need to click on a link to expand the tweet so that you can view it.
The 3rd example is a tweet from Harper’s Bazaar and it shows how effectively restaurants would be able to use in-line media to showcase their business.
These are individual tweets but if you view a twitter stream, then it demonstrates even more effectively just how well a tweet stands out if it includes an image
Impact of Twitter Media on Engagement
Let’s see if tweets with pictures make a difference. Why bother if they don’t, right?
Well these statistics are very compelling.
Twitter, like Pinterest, can boast some very impressive figures which attest to its value as a source of traffic. It has over 215 million active users.
Dan Zarrella has published some very noteworthy findings on the impact that a pictured tweet can have. Dan found that tweets using pic.twitter.com were 94% more likely to be retweeted than tweets using other types of image tool.
So this gives us an idea of the effectiveness of Twitter’s own image facility but what we want to see next is whether or not there is a noticeable impact from tweeting with pictures as compared with just sending plain text tweets.
Belle Beth Cooper provides us with some interesting stats that compare: changes in these metrics:
And here are the goods as quoted from Belle’s post:
- Tweets with images received 18% more clicks than those without.
- Tweets with images received 89% more favorites.
- Tweets with images received 150% more retweets.
There is no doubt about it. We are a visual crowd!! And these are definitely stats that we cannot afford to ignore.
Jeff Bullas has also written a very interesting post on the extent of user engagement that you can expect when using images in your tweets. You can read his post here.
Advertising with Twitter
The inclusion of this new and improved media facility spells huge opportunities for advertisers. And as would be expected, companies had already been making good use of pictured links.
Of course, the trick will be restraint. If it is overdone it will lose its effectiveness or subtlety. We have already seen irritation with overuse of the hashtag
But, one of the main features of Twitter will probably make this self-corrective. That is, if a business or a blogger or anyone else blasts their list with endless photos and videos, their Twitter followers can simply unfollow at any time. One would expect that most active Twitter users would keep an eye on these stats and react accordingly.
Selectivity will be the key. If it is not overdone, then in-line images can be extremely effective as evidenced by the Buffer stats in this post.
What are your thoughts?
Have you been using media in your tweets?
Are you noticing a difference in your followers’ engagement?
Over to you.