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Twitter (Advertising) Is Following You


Twitter recently announced (and implemented) a new way to make ads on the platform more applicable to users by displaying promoted content from brands and businesses users have shown interest in.

In short, Twitter says during the beta test, for American users only, Tweeters won’t see more ads, but they, in effect, may see better ones.

How are they doing this you ask?

Through the platform, advertisers can now target users based on Web actions that took place outside the platform. This includes web browsing and email addresses.

By opening up third-party data, Twitter is now allowing advertisers to target people who’ve visited select websites or provided data as part of a web purchase.

Through a blog post, Twitter used this hypothetical example to explain how the process works:

… Let’s say a local florist wants to advertise a Valentine’s Day special on Twitter. They’d prefer to show their ad to flower enthusiasts who frequent their website or subscribe to their newsletter. To get the special offer to those people who are also on Twitter, the shop may share with us a scrambled, unreadable email address (a hash) or browser-related information (a browser cookie ID). We can then match that information to accounts in order to show them a Promoted Tweet with the Valentine’s Day deal. This is how most other companies handle this practice, and we don’t give advertisers any additional user information.

The really cool thing though is Twitter is allowing users the choice of opting out of the program by allowing them to uncheck the box next to “promoted content” in their account settings. They’re doing this because the powers that be at Twitter support Do Not Track (DNT).

Due to this, Twitter will not receive browser-related information from ad partners for tailoring ads if users have DNT enabled in their browser.

This is a far different approach from Twitter’s social media adversary, Facebook. By way of comparison, Facebook does not allow users to opt out of retargeted ads served through its exchange or ads served through its “custom audiences” product which rely on emails and other data points like phone numbers and addresses to match users to what may be of interest to them.

We here at The Brandon Agency believe this is a great new avenue for brands to further reach current and potential brand ambassadors. In addition, the ability for users to opt out further ensures those seeing promoted tweets or ads are more apt to act on what they’re seeing and further deepening the relationship between the brand and consumer.

Let us know what you think!