Can Certain Twitter Images Garner More Engagement?

What stands out to you when skimming through your twitter feed? Is it the thought-provoking topic? Maybe it’s the #hashtag that resonates? And what about the images used to accentuate the tweets?

I’m a designer, so what grabs my attention is the perfect image. It’s all about the visual for me.

As I’ve become more familiar with Twitter, I‘ve noticed an interesting occurrence:

  • Why do some tweets (despite having the same message) get more engagement than others?

In a Twitter ad, there are two components: Message and Graphic. The Message communicates information and defines your target; the image attracts users and delivers the message instantly.

I’ve broken down twitter images into three categories:







My theory: People tend not to engage with tweets using poor images.

My three image categories can be seen across most tweets. However it is not the image type that effects performance, but the quality of the image matter.

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

From what I have collected I’ve noticed that tweets with appeasing images constantly gain retweets and favourites but out-dated/unnatractive images do not.

Here is an example:



@Veracode is using an old stock photo with small text. The image they used does not coincide with the message making the promoted tweet confusing at a glance.

On the other hand, @Udemy is using an image that is more aligned and meaningful. The Text is easy to read and the image in the graphic gives you a sense that this is a desktop program.

Legibility of text is another factor in quality. Twitter graphics with better legibility have better performance. Here are some examples of illegible advertisements



My Experiment

Over the past couple weeks I recorded the retweets and favorite stats of dozens of good and bad tweets and found some interesting results.


Above are two tweets I tracked for my experiment. Compared to other tweets their performance was outstanding.



I tracked tweets from the same @Handles and found interesting results. From comparing tweets, there was no apparent correlation between the style and result.

The success of the top two tweets could be due to a higher advertising budget – meaning higher visibility. As long as the image in the tweet is conveying strong message with clear legibility, it will attract users.

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