Targeted advertising based on cookies is certainly not what you might call a contemporary development. Ad companies have been harnessing the power of tracked browsing for a number of years. However, until now, they have been unable to utilise the same gameplan for Twitter users.
Of course, to say this is a missed opportunity is a colossal understatement, given the 200 million or so users Twitter sees on a regular basis.
In a blog post earlier this week, Senior Director of Product for Revenue Kevin Weil announced that Twitter advertisers will “soon” have the ability to utilise cookie data and email addresses to better target ads towards customers of their own platforms.
This system will mean that regular users of a specific company’s website, and indeed those signed up to mailing lists, will receive advertising directly from the company in question. Opportunity for increased transaction rates is clear when you consider that targeted ads could easily be tailored to include offers and promotions with proven relevance to the user.
Of course, any mention of data sharing comes part and parcel with concerns over privacy. Twitter’s Kevin Weil was quick to address these in his blog post, suggesting that email addresses would be encrypted. Browser information is already freely available from all users who configure their web browser to accept cookies.
Users who have enabled the ‘Do Not Track’ option will be ignored, and Twitter users will also have the ability to opt-out if they so wish.
However, the service will be enabled by default and therefore must be switched off manually, presumably in Twitter’s account settings.
It goes without saying that Twitter remains a leading force in the social web platforms of today.
We’ve already seen successful attempts at homing in on Twitter user’s interests with Twitter Amplify bridging the gap between TV and tweets. It’ll be interesting to track the success as user’s begin to see customised ads appearing in their Twitter feeds sometime soon.