Twitter opens up ‘tailored audiences’ so brands can target their Promoted Tweets using browser cookies.


By , Thursday, 5 Dec ’13 , 06:40pm

After “experimenting” with the feature in July, Twitter is launching a new advertising tool for brands and advertising partners called tailored audiences, which means firms can guarantee their Promoted Tweets are only seen by users who have used their site or services on the Web.

To access the feature, reported by TechCrunch yesterday, businesses will need to supply browser cookies to Twitter through one of the following ad partners: Adara, AdRoll, BlueKai, Chango, DataXu, Dstillery, Lotame, Quantcast, ValueClick, and [x+1].

They will then hand this browser-related data to Twitter, who can match that information to corresponding Twitter users for a Promoted Tweet.

In short, this is the game – albeit, to a lesser extent – that Google has been playing with its own ad services for years. If it can access users’ browsing history or interactions on the Web, it can promise brands more effective, targeted ads for its ever-increasing user base. That in turn will increase the conversion rates for Promoted Tweets, raising the interest in Twitter’s paid-for services and ultimately increasing its revenue.

In addition, better ad targeting should mean that regular Twitter users see a greater number of Promoted Tweets that are at least mildly relevant to their interests or consumption habits.

Some users might be a little uncomfortable with such a move, but there is a way to opt-out of the scheme: “Twitter users can simply uncheck the box next to ‘Promoted content’ in their privacy settings, and Twitter will not match their account to information shared by our ads partners for tailoring ads,” Abhishek Shrivastava, Product Manager for Revenue at Twitter said. “And because Twitter supports Do Not Track (DNT), Twitter will not receive browser-related information (a browser cookie ID) from our ads partners for tailoring ads if users have DNT enabled in their browser.”

➤ More relevant ads with tailored audiences

Image Credit: Bethany Clarke/Getty Images