Twitter has introduced interest-based ad targeting for its Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts campaigns, while Facebook is to allow brands to use their consumer data to reach users through the site.Twitter
’s move means advertisers buying Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts campaigns can target them to users with a specific set of interests, increasing their likelihood to engage. The system uses the ‘interest DNA’ which Twitter derives from analysis of who users follow and what they retweet. Up to 350 interest categories can be targeted, including the likes of home and garden, personal finance, education, and pets.
is to enable brands to target new ads to their existing customers across the social networking site, using personal information already in the brands’ databases from previous transactions - for example when someone purchases an item in-store or joins a mailing list. According to Facebook, this information - which can include e-mail addresses and phone numbers - is fed into its new ad system in an encoded form so that it never has access to the private details, but is compared to anonymized data held by Facebook to steer ads to the relevant individuals.
No doubt the social network will have a task on its hands to convince users and campaigners that there’s no breach of privacy rules here - and perhaps to convince advertisers that the targeting works, given recent publicity about bogus accounts and other problems - but it needs to convert traffic into revenue, and targeting is evidently too big an opportunity to ignore.