Branded emojis increase ads’ attention by almost 10%!

EyeSee Research for Twitter: eye tracking and facial coding study


In order to quantify and measure the impact that custom emojis have on the effectiveness of promoted media on Twitter, EyeSee conducted online eye tracking research and facial coding study followed by a survey. Main questions were:

  • Are Tweets with emojis more effective at driving higher engagement and attention than without? (eye tracking)
  • How do Tweets with emojis impact user emotions? (facial coding)
  • How do Tweets with emojis impact brand metrics? (survey evaluation)
  • What impact do images and videos have on Tweets with emojis? (eye tracking)
  • Do Tweets with images/video change the emoji impact on emotion? (facial coding)
  • Do Tweets with images change the emoji impact on brand metrics? (survey)


Methodology: Eye tracking + facial coding + survey

In total 200 respondents were recruited. They went through a Twitter feed with ads (image, text and video) with and without Emoji while their eyes (online eye tracking) and facial expressions (facial coding) were tracked. Afterwards they filled out a questionnaire to evaluate further the effectiveness of the advertisement:

  • Eye tracking: measures where people are looking at: Will they see the ad? How long are they looking to the ad?
  • Facial coding: measures emotions through facial expressions: Are emotions evoked? Which emotions are evoked?
  • Survey: Will they recall the ad/message? How do they evaluate the ad?

You can read more about our solutions here.

EyeSee Research Twitter study

Conclusions: Custom emojis increase ads visibility & attention, evoke positive emotions and leave none indifferent!

  1. Visibility and attention

Custom emojis increased ads visibility up to +26%. Ad attention (browsing time) has increased for 10% overall after the emojis were embedded.

  1. Emotional response

Emojis will mainly evoke a positive emotional response to the ad. It’s mostly video ads that benefit from custom emojis. In case of video ads, average expressiveness levels go sharply up, from almost non-existent (2%) to 13%.

Happiness follows after the “heightened interest” as dominant emotion, but the levels of happiness are mostly stable between the emoji and non-emoji ads.

  1. Attitudes and behavior

Around a quarter of Twitter users prefers the custom emoji ad over the regular one. Furthermore, one third of users agrees that “the emoji makes the ad more fun to watch“ and “makes the brand more appealing”.

The strongest user association to custom emojis is “attracts attention” (mentioned by almost a third of users).

On the other hand we see a portion of users who prefer the no-emoji version over the custom emoji ads, while those indifferent to custom emojis are a minority.


EyeSee Research Eye Tracking Facial Coding Survey


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