How Twitter is adapting the like button to increase engagement

Twitter’s ‘like’ and ‘retweet’ buttons have become standard metrics for successful digital campaigns but, recently, the social media app has taken things a step further and adapted its ‘like’ button to make it even more appealing for business use.

Firstly, Twitter introduced branded hashtags that include specific emojis or small images

That include brand logos or specifically designed graphics relating to the business or promotion and, secondly, it allowed businesses to change the standard heart popping like button to anything they desire by using a specific hashtag. The huge engagement benefit of changing the like button means that users have to physically like a Tweet to see the results, as does anyone that Tweet is shared with. These innovations have revitalised the like button functionality which had potentially become stagnant in the ever evolving digital world.

So why has Twitter brought in these changes? Twitter refers to anything that can make an audience stop scrolling and pay more attention as “stopping power”, and believes this is key to improving engagement. Adding a visual cue such as a branded Tweet can increase the chances of a user stopping and paying attention by 10%[1] which, in a market of millions, can result in huge increases in user engagement. Having an image or animation that can be triggered by one specific hashtag requires users to acknowledge and engage with the brand, something that is harder to encourage with a standard hashtag.


To keep their campaigns exciting, brands reserve these techniques for big events or product launches. For example, Disney introduced nearly 40 branded hashtags for the release of its superhero film, Avengers Endgame, allowing users to proudly support their favourite characters, introduce friendly rivalry and increase conversation surrounding the blockbuster. More recently, Apple changed the appearance of the like button in its posts to reflect the aesthetic and logos of its upcoming ‘Time Flies’ event. This resulted in nearly as many Tweets, memes and articles surrounding the like button as there were surrounding the event itself. This resulted in some memes garnering over 50,000 likes which were all tagged with the specific #AppleEvent.

A campaign that is driven by quality content and a strong product or service can benefit hugely from Twitter’s business-focused tools and support . Branded hashtags and tweaked animations are only scratching the surface of what is required to create a successful campaign but, they could be the final touch that pushes your product or service further into the mainstream.

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