Twitter To Start Using Ads Based On Your Browsing History

Posted Jul 4, 2013

Micro-blogging service Twitter is experimenting with a new form of targeted advertisements.  Twitter users will not see more ads on Twitter, but they will see better ones.  Twitter is hoping that users will find these ads more relevant than their standard sponsored tweets.  Sponsored tweets are usually shown based on what a user follows on Twitter.

“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),” said Twitter in a blog post.  “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.”

Twitter supports a feature called Do Not Track, which prevents websites from gathering information about you.  It is likely that Twitter will offer an option to opt out of these ads if they choose when this advertising feature exits experimental mode.