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Published 31 August 2012 06:25, Updated 03 September 2012 06:30
Uncaged ... Twitter is giving advertisers more power to target its 140 million monthly active users.
Social network Twitter has launched a fresh bid to extract money from its legion users, allowing advertisers to directly target people based on interests they reveal in their posts.
The company has also slashed the minimum price of promoted tweets from 50 US cents to 1 US cent in an effort to draw more advertisers to the site.
Under the new “interest targeting” service, Twitter will let advertisers fire paid tweets at users who have shown an interest in one of about 350 topics on a list that the social network site curates.
Twitter director of product management Kevin Weil told Reuters that the advertising offering will allow businesses to reach a “very narrow, very specific and incredibly focused audience”.
Examples Reuters cites of what advertisers might be able to do include sports apparel retailers targeting football fanatics or film distributors targeting Bollywood fans.
Twitter has around 140 million monthly active users and Weil maintains that the social network believes targeted ads will lift engagement higher than the 1 to 3 per cent click-through rate that promoted tweets garner.
eMarketer social media analyst Debra Williamson tells the Financial Times that the capabilities on offer from Twitter are similar to those Facebook has spruiked for a number of years but that Twitter has to extrapolate more information about its users than Facebook.
“On Twitter you don’t always express your interests in the same way as you do on Facebook,” Williamson says. “On Facebook you write out what your likes are. Facebook has that information very specifically about you.
“On Twitter, it’s a little bit more assumed, because they don’t have that mechanism to gather people’s information. The proof in the pudding will be how good is Twitter’s algorithm at determining your interests without you expressly stating them.”