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Saturday, January 23, 2021

How Apple, NASA and others looked ‘cool’ on Twitter in 2020

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Apple’s time flies event in September made headlines for a different reason altogether. The moment you like any tweet that has the #AppleEvent hashtag, a quick animation appeared instead of the red heart. People soon began to like random tweets with the hashtag just to see the animation.
Apple created a Twitter page back in 2011 and is yet to tweet anything,so, it was quite a surprise. Many thought that Twitter has rolled out a special like button exclusively for Apple. But it turns out that it was plain marketing. And Apple is not the first one to opt for a custom like button.

Disney was the first to introduce this sorcery on Twitter with the Black is King hashtag. In July, Twitter users were amazed to see a “lion effect” the moment they liked any tweet with the Black is King hashtag. NASA followed Disney to showcase a cute animated rocket with the #CountdownToMars hashtag to celebrate the rover launch to Mars. Later, NBA followed by adding a bouncing basketball with #WholeNewgame hashtag. Now, the ‘sorcery’ behind this animated like button was clear. Any brand can get a special like button by paying Twitter.
Twitter calls this Branded Likes. In fact, it is one of the coolest things that Twitter had to offer in 2020. And this promotional feature has even excited brands.

While Disney, NASA and NBA were the first to try out Branded Likes, it was Apple that spread the word to the world. In fact, Apple continued with the Branded Like button for other events as well.
Recently, Red Bull also joined the new promotional feature offered by Twitter. But it was slightly different. To see the Red Bull can animation, people had to copy-paste “#レッドブル” on any tweet and hit the like button. Now what is “レッドブル”? It’s simply Red Bull written in Japanese.
Twitter is currently offering Branded Likes in the US and Japan which explains why Red Bull opted for “レッドブル”.

Twitter has always been considered as a serious social media platform where most trending conversations are anything but peaceful. This makes it rather tricky for companies to advertise on Twitter and get some meaningful engagements. Also, it is difficult for brands to make people hit the like button or engage with the brand on promoted tweets. But the new Branded Likes promotional feature offers a much needed breather and some harmless brand engagement.
Twitter hasn’t officially disclosed how much it costs to get a Branded Like button. But given the excitement around it, we may expect more brands to opt for it in 2021 when Twitter allows brands from more countries to promote the like button.
Of course, too much of something may spoil the fun altogether and bidding the right price for the branded like button may strain social media budgets but to get real people willingly hit the like button and drive the brand’s “coolness factor” Twitter may have just found the right solution.

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