Twitter Plans to Peek at Your Apps to Serve You Targeted Ads
J Thoendell stashed this in Apps
Twitter will soon identify the other apps on your phone in an effort to personalize your experience on its service—i.e. serve you targeted ads.
The company discusses the move on its website, and according to the news siteRe/code, this sort of tracking will begin with a new version of its iPhone app, set to roll out on Wednesday. A new Android version that works in much the same way, the site says, will roll out over the next week or so.
Now a public company, Twitter is exploring many different ways to boost its revenue, and one method is through better targeted ads. The company already has some personal information about those using its service—what they type into their Twitter profiles and the tweets they post—but now, it wants more. “To help build a more personal Twitter experience for you, we are collecting and occasionally updating the list of apps installed on your mobile device so we can deliver tailored content that you might be interested in,” the company says.
In this way, it’s following the lead of Facebook and Google and so many others that seek to target ads. The difference is that Twitter doesn’t have access to nearly as much personal data as Facebook, which inherently encourages users to provide information about themselves, or Google, which operates a wide range of services atop its own mobile OS. So Twitter is reaching out into other parts of the phone, something that is easy to do. The Apple and Google mobile OSes provide ready access to information like this, and many apps take advantage of this—some going much further than others.