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Twitter introduces emoji-targeted advertising; eggplant industry rejoices

Be careful what you tweet for: Twitter has introduced a new feature that will allow marketers to target ads based on the emojis you tweet.

Those hamburger emojis you tweet spell profit for advertisers.
Claire Reilly/CNET

Hamburger, hamburger, taco, praise hands? Yes, we know you're hungry by the emojis you tweet out, and now advertisers will too.

Twitter has unveiled a new feature allowing advertisers to target specific users with splashy ads, all based on the emojis they tweet out with their daily musings.

With more than 110 billion emojis tweeted out since 2014, this could be a massive cash cow for advertisers. Twitter says marketers will be able to use emoji activity to determine a person's mood and then "connect" with them, in turn driving "deep engagement and better performance for brands." And here you were thinking Twitter was all about hashtags and flame wars.

Emojis have become the defining element of digital communications for millennials and a new staple of pop culture. Late in 2015, when Facebook finally diversified beyond its Like button, it went with an assortment of a half-dozen symbols, mostly smiley and frowny faces. That stinginess didn't last long: Earlier this month, it brought 1,500 new emojis to the Facebook Messenger app.

You can now even search Google with emojis.

In announcing its advertising twist, Twitter used food emojis as an example, but we're expecting to see a massive boost for the flamenco dancing, hair cut and surgical mask industry.

Just don't start complaining when you get targeted ads from the eggplant store.