Why Links Are Bad on Twitter

Is using links in your Tweet really giving you worse visibility? And what should you do to maximize the potential of the tweets advertising your game?

Somewhere during the course of 2022, there seemed to have been a change in how outside links are treated on Twitter and how using them actively seemed to harm your impressions. And no, before you ask, this was even before the big Twitter exodus caused by Elon Musk’s takeover.

But we didn’t have any factual proof. Outside of A/B tests (performed by us as well) and multiple channels reporting on it, we only had a hunch. But with Twitter opening up its algorithms for everyone to see on the 31st of March 2023, we’ve gained new insights!

Are links really that bad?

Short answer: Yes. Until you get a large enough amount of engagement on the tweet with the external link in it, it’s practically considered spam.

A picture of a can of spam on a plate, with a sad Link from the Legend of Zelda coming out of the top, crying
Sad Link doesn’t want to be spam

When you’re advertising your game or you’re asking people to wishlist it, the smart move seems like it would be to include a link to the Steam store or the platform you’re talking about in your tweet, but as soon as you include an external link your tweet gets a “SPAM_SCORE”

The exceptions, of course, are for verified accounts* (both legacy verified and Twitter Blue subscribers) and when your tweet gets enough engagement: retweets, likes or favourites, which will lower your spam score.

*Note: We’ve been trying out Twitter Blue ourselves and haven’t noticed a difference, using a link is still very much penalized, verified or not.

A screenshot from Twitter's Source code showing that links get marked as spam unless the person tweeting is verified or the tweet has gotten a lot of engagement already
Source: Twitter’s open-sourced code.

But you WANT people to visit your game’s website or your store page and Twitter has been one of your most successful platforms in reaching new players. How do you go about it?

Possible solutions

The most obvious solution is to reply to your own tweet with your link(s).


  • It’s easy
  • You don’t have to dedicate characters to it in your main tweet
  • Your main tweet will look cleaner and feels less like an advertisement


  • Not everyone will open the thread to see the link(s)
  • It still doesn’t get a lot of impressions
  • It won’t be long before Twitter cracks down on this workound ( there seems to be proof this is already happening)

Conclusion: Go ahead and try it, but use it sparingly and don’t just drop links below all of your tweets. Wait for it to reach a decent amount of people first.

trifox reply with link
Source: @Trifoxgame

Plan B is to mention that a link is in your Twitter Bio and include the link there.


  • You don’t have to spend time copying your link(s)
  • You’re more likely to get a follow out of it


  • Only suitable for your main website or store link, not for specific Call To Actions like “help vote for us in this audience award”
  • “Visit profile” behaviour is usually low on Twitter
  • People don’t like “Link in Bio” on Instagram, they won’t appreciate it being used too often on Twitter as well

Or, you could include the link in your image or video!
Bonus: images & video get a x2 boost in visibility

Source: @aakashg0


  • You want to end your video with a good CTA anyway
  • You can use a simplified URL or a QR code in images


  • Your link needs to be short and easy to remember
  • Most people will not even reach the end of a video
  • Very few people will act upon it

Well, that wasn’t very helpful, what should I do that DOES work?

What works best? – Brand Recognition

It will require a bit of work and patience, but the key is brand recognition.

Leonarda Dicaprio meme pointing at something he recognises.
You want them to do this when they see your game

If you understand consumer behaviour, you’ll know that you’ll very rarely convince potential buyers to purchase something after their first interaction with an item, the same is true for games. Players need repeated exposure to a title before they recognize it and register it as something they should play.

Added to this is that very few people click away from their social media when they are scrolling through their Twitter feed (the same goes for Instagram, TikTok, YouTube shorts…) so getting them to click a link that will take them outside the quick fix of dopamine they are currently searching for, is already a big ask.

Knowing this and playing into such behaviour is not going to be a quick win, so prepare to be in it for the long haul and try to maximize the conversion by being easy to remember and easy to find. Though, this is something that is best kept in mind from the earliest stages of marketing, down to the title of your game.

Easy to remember, easy to find

Generally speaking, you need to expose your players to your game multiple times before they will consider it something they should remember to begin with, but when they do, you need the process to be as easy as possible for them.

One of THE most important factors for this, is your game title. It’s a lot more frequent for gamers to enter your title in a Google search bar or in the store’s search, than it is for them to click a link from your social media. So it’s important they get it right. Having a short yet unique title consisting out of easily memorable words will go a long way.

Next, is recognisable visual branding. If you use a common element in your videos, a unique style in your screenshots or a thumbnail artwork that can be spotted while scrolling through a store’s upcoming/discounted titles, it’ll be a major boon to your conversion rate.

Lastly, is making sure your game crosses the player’s path multiple times, and you can’t count on your own social media alone to achieve this effect. Make sure enough press, content creators and influencers get a hold of your game and have them share it with their audiences.

If you don’t have the time yourself for this kind of outreach, consider outsourcing it. And remember, you can always count on us to lend you a hand (or a hook!)

A Pirate map showing the keys to videogame success: Being easy to find, creating shareable content, asking for feedback, building a community and expanding your reach.
We’ll help put the wind in your sails!

We hope that you’ve learned something new from this Treasure Trove post and if you did, please consider sharing it through any of the options below and help spread the knowledge.