independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Web ads will now follow you to Twitter

Twitter is on the verge of launching targeted adverts based on your previous browsing history, according to reports.

Twitter could make the announcement as soon as Friday, sources told Tech Crunch, expanding on the “experimental” phase which started in July.

The adverts will be fuelled by browser cookies from websites you have recently visited, and will appear on Twitter’s mobile app even if the sites you visited were on a desktop computer.

“Retargeted adverts” as they are known, have not previously been successful on mobile. because phones and tablets do not leave the same level of cookies or trail of breadcrumbs about which sites you have visited that laptops and desktops do.

But by analysing the cookies in your desktop browser, it is anticipated that Twitter will be able to use that information to target relevant adverts for mobile as well.

It is thought the use of cookies is part of Twitter’s plan to become an advertising powerhouse after the $23.8bn valuation proposed by its $43.69 share price.

Zach Coelius, CEO of retargeted ads company Triggit, said Twitter’s method will give the company a “huge advantage”.

He told Tech Crunch: “Twitter is in a unique position because people log in both on the web and phone. That’s a really big deal because mobile phones don’t have the ability to set cookies so you can’t do retargeting.

“[Twitter’s method] gives it a huge advantage, enabling them to provide relevant targeted ads on mobile phones.”

Twitter currently offers an opt-out of retargeting under “Promoted Content” on its “Security and Privacy” settings page.

In July, Twitter introduced targeted adverts in the US to show users interest-specific content from brands. The sponsored tweets are determined by online user data, such as frequently visited websites and subscribed email lists.

Telegraph.co.uk

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