The Power of Picture In Your Tweets

By Courtney Lewis | March 28, 2014

twitter, twitter photos, twitter engagement, social media

Social media engagement. It’s something we all strive for, but just how do we get there? We all know photos and videos add a little something extra, but exactly what are they doing for your brand? Well, Twitter may now have the answer. The social media company recently conducted research to find out exactly what ‘fuels a Tweet’s engagement’. Twitter’s data scientist Douglas Mason analyzed millions of Tweets sent by verified accounts to determine what resonated with users. The study looked at several categories including government, music, news, sports and TV.
The study looked specifically at tweets that had the following added elements:
+ photos
+ hashtags
+ links
+ videos
+ Tweets containing a number or a digit 
So, what’s the most valuable addition a tweet? Well for news organizations, adding a photo url came in at number one. The study found a 27% increase in retweets for a tweet that had a photo vs. one without. Twitter’s Data Editor Simon Rogers breaks it down for us writing, “if @journalist normally gets an average of 100 retweets per post. A photo could drive that average to 127 per Tweet.” Adding numbers and video urls were next in line. Worth adding a photo to your next tweet? Probably so. 
And these results just might give us a little insight into Twitter’s latest news. On Wednesday afternoon the social media company announced it’s adding a few options to its mobile image offerings. Twitter will now allow users to ‘tag’ up to 10 people in a photo without using up any of those precious 140 characters. The company is also adding a feature that allows users to add up to 4 photos to a single tweet that it arranges into a collage. Mashable notes for now, the multiple photos feature is only available for iPhone users, but Twitter promises it will be available on Android shortly. 
Now, tagging your friends in photos is nothing new. Facebook’s been on that on for years, so what’s Twitter trying to do here? A writer for The Verge points out, “Twitter has traditionally struggled with discovery, and has experimented with various ways to show new users who to follow and why to follow them.” Photo tags do just that by showing up in tweets on the web, adding another easy way to find and follow people.  
Is Twitter playing catch up? Maybe, but we’re excited to try out the new features. Follow along with us at