Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

Twitter now letting advertisers target broader keywords

Advertisers want to reach users who are tweeting about concepts, not just specific phrases, and Twitter is now giving them tools to target broader ideas.

Daniel Terdiman Former Senior Writer / News
Daniel Terdiman is a senior writer at CNET News covering Twitter, Net culture, and everything in between.
Daniel Terdiman
Twitter will now let advertisers target promoted tweets at people using a broader set of keywords. Twitter

If an advertiser wants to target a promoted tweet at coffee drinkers, they shouldn't have to limit their potential audience to people tweeting the exact word "coffee."

That's Twitter's position, anyway, as expressed by its latest ad product: broad match for keyword targeting.

In a blog post Wednesday morning, Twitter said that it will now let advertisers target promoted tweets at people who express ideas "using synonyms, different spellings, or Twitter-specific lingo."

The idea, the post continued, is that "broad match makes it easier for advertisers to reach users having these conversations by automatically expanding their targeted keywords to include related terms."

What that means, in practical terms, is that marketers can define a range of terms, including slang, like "luv" for "love," automatically, and exclude others. Twitter uses this example: "If the coffee shop sells lattes but not espressos, they can use the '+' modifier on the broad matched terms to prevent broadening. Targeting 'love + latte' will match to users who tweet "luv latte," but it won't match to users who tweet "luv espresso."

The new initiative is the latest in Twitter's far-reaching efforts to expand the ways that advertisers can use the social network. Twitter went public last month, but has yet to make a profit.