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Twitter Canada unveils new Blue Jays emoji, team stats and research

Click to play video 'As Blue Jays’ new season begins, Twitter Canada looks into how baseball fans use the social media platform' As Blue Jays’ new season begins, Twitter Canada looks into how baseball fans use the social media platform
WATCH ABOVE: The Toronto Blue Jays started their 2018 regular season on Thursday and as Emily Mertz explains, Twitter Canada released some cool Jays stats and emojis to makr the occasion – Mar 29, 2018

On Thursday, Twitter Canada announced a new baseball emoji that will appear every time the #BlueJays hashtag is used.

“Emojis have become a big part of how fans engage with their favourites teams,” Twitter Canada’s head of sports, Christopher Doyle, said.

“We’re really excited that this year, the hashtag Blue Jays will trigger a special Blue Jays emoji. Anytime that you use that on Twitter, you’ll see a rendering of the Jays’ logo.

“Each one of the Major League Baseball teams has their own special emoji on Twitter, so using the hashtag will actually render that special image on the platform.”

The company’s research found an even stronger link between the sport and the social media network than insiders expected.

READ MORE: 5 things to watch as Toronto Blue Jays begin 2018 season 

“Eighty per cent of Canadian Twitter users are interested in baseball, which is higher than non-users,” Doyle said.

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He thinks the two pair so well together because of the pace of the game of baseball.

“Baseball is perfect for Twitter.

“I know sports is in general, but I think in baseball specifically, the pace of the game, there’s time to have conversations. Just like you would in real life, in person, you can have these conversations on Twitter as you’re watching the game.”

READ MORE: Rick Zamperin: In two years, the Blue Jays could be a major force

Fans’ and analysts’ love of statistics, graphs and numbers could also strengthen the connection, he said.

“Sixty-eight per cent of Canadian Twitter users who are baseball fans have followed along on Twitter while watching baseball at some point,” Doyle said. “Two-thirds of fans are essentially following along while they’re watching the Jays game, which is huge.”

In a blog posted on MLB opening day, Twitter Canada explains the research and highlights some of the team’s accounts and followers.

Here are the Top 5 most-followed teams in Major League Baseball:

New York Yankees (@Yankees)
Chicago Cubs (@Cubs)
Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays)
Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers)
Boston Red Sox (@RedSox)
Here are the Top 5 most followed professional sports teams in Canada:
Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays)
Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs)
Toronto Raptors (@Raptors)
Montreal Canadiens (@CanadiensMTL)
Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks)

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Early in the 2017 season, the Blue Jays became the first Canadian professional sports team to reach two million Twitter followers.

Here are the Top 5 most-followed Blue Jays on Twitter:

Josh Donaldson (@BringerOfRain20)
Marcus Stroman (@MStrooo6)
Curtis Granderson (@cgrand3)
Kevin Pillar (@KPILLAR4)
Russell Martin (@russellmartin55)