Twitter Speaks Out About Privacy for Tailored Ads

Twitter Retargeting Privacy

In a previous post we speculated on what Twitter’s ad exchange could mean for brands. As is generally the case when it comes retargeting, privacy concerns have arisen among more discerning of Internet users.

Perhaps learning from Facebook’s Sponsored Story legal woes, Twitter wasted no time speaking out on the matter. They released a blog post spelling out their new retargeting program in layman’s terms and detailing privacy options related to the new ads. Twitter also dedicated an entire section of their help center to show users how to opt out of tailored advertising content. From the user perspective, navigable privacy settings are a refreshing alternative to Facebook’s notoriously confusing privacy center.

“While we want to make our ads more useful, we also want to give users simple and meaningful privacy options,” the post reads. “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.”

Twitter Promoted Content

When I visited my Twitter settings, I actually noticed that this section defaulted to not show promoted content — I’m assuming that for now, this is the standard for all users.

We know how we as publishers and marketers feel about retargeting, but how do what is the “regular” Internet user’s stance on being retargeted? According to a 2012 Pew study, just over half (59%) of Internet users say they have actually noticed being targeted by ads online that were directly related to things they had recently searched or sites they had visited.

While many US adults said they were “not OK” with targeted ads because they’re opposed to having their online behavior tracked, another 28% said they were fine with ad retargeting “because they are served more relevant ads for things that they’re really interested in.”