Twitter has released new targeting tools. The tools allow marketers to target users based on their off-site actions and email addresses, basically doing the same functionality of a tool released by Facebook earlier in the year. In turn, users will begin seeing ads on Twitter based on the users’ actions across the web.
With the new tooling, marketers will be able to use third-party data to target users based on their actions throughout the web such as what sites users have visited plus users’ email addresses. However, this personal information will still be kept confidential from advertisers to alleviate some privacy concerns. What Twitter does instead is take an email address, converts it to a hash string, and then matches that up with hashed strings provided by marketers. This way the email address is never passed around between parties. Instead, it’s an ID, or form of encryption, that cannot be reversed to figure out what it actually references.
An example of this is a merchant using its newsletter email subscription list along with other data gathered from cookies who have visited the merchant’s site for a specific promotion. The merchant can then share this with Twitter via the hashed token allowing the merchant to utilized its Promoted Tweet to that consumer. With a Promoted Tweet, marketers are able to pay to promote its post into a user’s Twitter feed.
What’s happening here is very similar to Facebook’s Custom Audiences tool it launched earlier this year. The big difference, however, is that Twitter users can opt out of this targeting by updating their account settings. Though, advertisers have been doing such targeting for quite awhile, and it’s really nothing new… Twitter is just finally getting on board with it to maximize its advertising revenue.