Twitter to Serve Ads Based on Browser History

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Twitter will allow marketers to target ads to users who have previously interacted with their websites, the company said today.

“Users won’t see more ads on Twitter, but they may see better ones,” wrote Kevin Weil, senior director of product for revenue, on the company’s blog.

The company had previously allowed marketers to target users based on population demographics such as location and gender.

Companies will supply Twitter with hashed, or encrypted, email addresses or a browser cookie ID for the users they want to reach. Twitter will then locate which users are members of its service and serve the Promoted Tweet to them.

“This is how most other companies handle this practice, and we don’t give advertisers any additional user information,” Weil said.

Users will be able to opt out of the email-addressed based targeting by opting out of “promoted content” in their account settings, Twitter said. Users can opt out of the cookie-based targeting by enabling Do Not Track in their browsers.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation praised Twitter for implementing such privacy protections.

“Twitter has made some praiseworthy design decisions,” the group said in a blog post.

To date, Twitter’s ads have delivered fewer and lower-spending consumers to marketers’ websites than other social networks.

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