Twitter to use web browsing history to target promoted tweets

Twitter: trials ad targeting scheme
Twitter: trials ad targeting scheme

Twitter is set to follow Google and Facebook into ad targeting, by allowing brands to use tweeters' web browsing histories to target them with promoted content.

Businesses will be able to use data from their customer databases, including anonymised emails or browser cookie IDs, to target people on Twitter who have previously shown an interest in their brand.

Kevin Weil, senior director of product at Twitter, explained in a blog post that, for example, this would allow a local florist to advertise a Valentine’s Day offer through a promoted tweet to target people who have previously frequented their website or subscribed to a newsletter.

Twitter is reassuring users they can protect their privacy by opting out of the new feature if they are not happy with their account being matched with external data held by advertisers.

The social network will also not receive browser-related information from advertisers for retargeted ads if users have the "Do Not Track" setting enabled on their web browsers.

Twitter will begin with a small pilot scheme in the US. Twitter has updated its privacy policy and claims it will email all users about the policy changes and ad pilots in the coming weeks.

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