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Twitter's Ad Experiment
By: Jessica Cherok
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Twitter is about to experiment on us! Okay, not in a mad science kind of way. More with user data and targeted ads.

Last week, Twitter posted a blog titled “Experimenting with new ways to tailor ads.” The experiment will be for United States users only, and will be related to “brands and businesses [users] have shown interest in.” Twitter goes on to assure us that there won’t be more ads, just better ones.

The targeting works in a similar way to how Facebook is already targeting ads. If a business already has your information (browser cookie ID), Twitter will match that information to the information they have, and BAM — you get an ad meant for you.

The matching is basically technical nerd magic, but you can opt out if you want.

According to Twitter:

While we want to make our ads more useful, we also want to give users simple and meaningful privacy options. Simply uncheck the box next to “Promoted content” in your account settings, and Twitter will not match your account to information shared by our ad partners for tailoring ads. This is the only place you’ll need to disable this feature on Twitter.

The last part is great news. Unlike Facebook, where you have to opt out in several different places, Twitter allowed for one easy click.

For more information about this experiment, plus its impact on DNT signals, check out Twitter’s blog.

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About the Author
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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