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Twitter provides more-precise tools for targeting mobile ads

The social-networking company will now let advertisers target users by device, OS, and even Wi-Fi.

Twitter said Wednesday that it has introduced a set of tools that allow marketers to target ads at mobile users based on a wide range of criteria, including their operating system, their device, and even if they're on Wi-Fi.

In a blog post, Twitter explained how it's expanding the mobile-targeting options it's giving advertisers. Previously, the company said, it allowed mobile targeting only by operating system. But now marketers will be able to direct ads at Twitter users based on which specific version of iOS or Android they're using, as well as their specific mobile device, and whether they're connecting via Wi-Fi.

Clearly, the idea is that advertisers believe they can get better conversion rates the more they know about users' individual situations, and can target ads that are more likely to appeal to, say, iPhone users than those on Android. Similarly, someone connecting via Wi-Fi is a different kind of potential customer than someone on the go.

Twitter said telecommunications marketers might, for example, "promote loyalty and rewards to users on their specific devices, or reach new prospects on older devices." And, the company is aware that there are different demographics for different devices and wants to allow marketers to take advantage of that.

For Twitter, increasing the numbers of tools its advertisers have at their disposal is a natural and necessary step to take. While that's been true for some time, it's essential for the company now that it's gone public and will face increasing pressure to turn a profit, something it has never done.