Adding Images and Videos to Your Tweets

By Hillary Levitz • January 21, 2014

Hillary Levitz, Naylor Association Solutions

Now that Twitter has joined the ranks of publicly traded social media companies, the pressure to generate consistent and growing revenue takes on more urgency.


  • Twitter’s new photo preview feature allows users to include images and videos with each tweet.
  • Conventional wisdom says images and videos will enhance any text-based content on the Web.
  • The jury’s still out with respect to the effectiveness of image-enhanced tweets.

For example, in October, Twitter launched a feature that allows images and videos to show automatically in a user’s timeline. Prior to October, when Twitter users included images in their tweets, followers had to click a link to view the image. This made viewing images on a mobile device difficult due to fat fingers and, frankly, lack of interest. By automatically including the images in the Twitter feed, Twitter provided a new way for users to share updates.

The caveat to the feature was that images from third-party applications would still show as links, thus making the native Twitter application the only way to share photos this way. At the time of the feature’s launch, many thought that the change would primarily benefit advertisers and become bothersome to users. (This blog even offered instructions about how to remove the image previews from the mobile app.) We, however, felt that the added images would draw more attention to our tweets and earn us additional interaction as happened when we added pictures to our Facebook posts. Not only did we want to see what all of the commotion was about, but we also wanted to cater to our followers who prefer visual updates to text.

So we tested it out.

Unfortunately, we did not see any change in the amount of engagement our tweets received. Have you added images to your tweets? Have you witnessed any changes—positive or negative? Let us know!


Like everything else on the Web and social media, you need to experiment, tinker and ask around to see if a new tool, enhancement or technique is right for you or your organization. Not everything you try is going to be a home run or killer app. But ignore at your own risk, because if they start to gain traction, your members will expect you to be knowledgeable about new techniques like this one.

Hillary Levitz is an online marketing specialist with Naylor, LLC.