Twitter Unveils Retargeting, Database Matching

Twitter birdClose to a year after Facebook debuted a real-time bidded ad exchange (FBX) and nine months after the release of its Custom Audiences CRM matching product, Twitter has unveiled plans for similar targeting features. But don’t call it “TWX” yet.

Senior director of product for revenue Kevin Weil wrote in a blog post that Twitter is experimenting with a “way to make ads on Twitter more useful to our users in the United States by displaying promoted content from brands and businesses they’ve shown interest in.”

By uploading email addresses (hashed and therefore non-personally identifiable, as Weil noted) and Internet browser cookie IDs to match with social account holders, a business can address customers, newsletter subscribers or website visitors via Twitter’s Promoted Products ad formats. “This is how most other companies handle this practice, and we don’t give advertisers any additional user information,” Weil wrote.

Laura O’Shaughnessy, CEO of Twitter Ads API partner company SocialCode, commented to AdExchanger, “For example, Walmart could target just individuals who had come to their website to shop at their summer sale or Samsung, could, via email address, target just users who have bought the Galaxy S3 phone to promote the S4.”

She added, “These new Twitter products will have huge implications for brands.”

Consumers have the opportunity to opt out of the whole process by unchecking the “Promoted Content” box in their account settings. Additionally, Twitter will not match opt-out accounts with ad-partner information, the company said.

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