Twitter pushes deeper into targeted advertising

Dec 05, 2013
The Twitter logo displayed at the entrance of Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, California on March 11, 2011.

Twitter on Thursday launched a new form of targeted advertising, allowing companies to deliver "promoted tweets" to customers who show interest in the brand through Web browsing.

The new service called "tailored audiences," is now available globally, as "a new way for advertisers to define your own groups of existing and potential customers, and connect with them on Twitter with relevant messages," the company said.

Twitter, which previewed the service in July, will be able to match advertisers and customers who have visited that company's website, without necessarily clicking on a Twitter link.

"With tailored audiences you can reach users on Twitter who have shown interest in your brand or your category even away from Twitter," product manager Abhishek Shrivastava said in a blog post.

"Let's say a hotel brand wants to advertise a promotion on Twitter and they'd prefer to show their ad to travel enthusiasts who have recently visited their website. To get the special offer to those people who are also on Twitter, the hotel brand may share with us browser-related information (browser cookie ID) through an ads partner. We can then match that information to Twitter accounts."

He said this will result in "a highly relevant and useful message for the user," and will continue to allow advertisers to know how many users saw or clicked on an ad, without identifying the individuals.

Twitter noted that these types of ads would be blocked for users who opt to use "do not track" settings on their browsers which block the delivery of the text files known as cookies.

Shrivastava said Twitter has seen "impressive results from those advertisers in our beta tests from partners including Delta Air Lines.

"We're excited about the possibilities that tailored audiences will open up for marketers with direct response objectives," he added.

Twitter raised some $1.8 billion in its inital public offering last month, despite doubts about its ability to generate profits after years of losses. This program is among several aimed at monetizing the popular messaging platform with more than 200 million users.

Twitter separately announced the appointment of its first woman board member in a gender breakthrough at the globally popular one-to-many messaging service.

London publishing executive Marjorie Scardino has been named as the eighth board member of the San Francisco-based company.

"Thank you," 66-year-old Scardino said in a message fired off at her @marjscar Twitter account. "There couldn't be a more exciting time in Twitter's history to join."

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