Companies update their privacy policies all the time, and in most cases, it isn’t really even worth reading about. With Twitter’s latest changes, however, there are some important adjustments that marketers should be aware of. The key adjustment is that they will be holding on to data gathered from off-Twitter sources for 30 days now, rather than just 10.
Anytime someone visits a site with a ‘share on Twitter’ button, Twitter is able to track this about the user. This data is then used to improve ad targeting on Twitter itself.
With Twitter ad revenue continuing to drop, they are obviously looking to improve their targeting so they can attract new advertisers. For advertisers, this will make the ads on Twitter more valuable.
In addition to simply extending the length of time that they will be able to keep and use this data, they are also giving users new options to customize how this data can be used. This isn’t just the ‘opt out’ options that almost all major sites have though. Instead, Twitter is telling users about what their personal information says about them in terms of what types of advertisements they should see.
Users can then deselect specific categories that they aren’t actually interested in. While it is unlikely that very many users will actually take advantage of this option, it is a helpful approach. Many people visit sites that they don’t actually care about for work, research, or even just on accident. Allowing users to opt out of certain categories may provide an even more accurate advertising profile.
It will take some time to see whether these changes make any lasting improvements for Twitter’s ad revenue. The company has been struggling for some time, and it will likely take more than just better information gathering to turn that around.