Services & Software

Twitter's new ads program tells advertisers your browsing habits

The global rollout of the ads program allows any marketer to target users who have already expressed interest in their brands outside Twitter with relevant promoted tweets.

Twitter on Thursday launched its tailored audiences program, a system designed to help companies reach potential customers who have previously signaled interest outside Twitter.

In a blog post, the social network said it was rolling out the tailored audiences system globally after running a limited test since July. The news was first reported yesterday by TechCrunch.

The system works by allowing advertisers to target promotions at people who have already indicated their interest in the company's brand. For example, Twitter explained, if a hotel wants to target a user who has visited its Web site, it could share browser cookie IDs with Twitter via an ads partner. Then, Twitter can determine if that user has an account and, if so, target a promoted tweet about the hotel to the person. "The end result," Twitter wrote in its blog post, "is a highly relevant and useful message for the user."

Twitter said that trials of the program proved it works, with several companies showing boosts in engagement and significant reductions in the cost of customer acquisition. For example, inbound marketing software platform HubSpot got a 45 percent increase in engagement via its use of promoted tweets, while Krossover, a company used by sports coaches to analyze game video, had a 74 percent reduction in the cost of customer acquisition. Delta Airlines, too, successfully used the new ads program to boost engagement.

In order to use the system, brands can work with a group of ad partners that includes Adara, AdRoll, BlueKai, Chango, DataXu, Dstillery, Lotame, Quantcast, ValueClick, and [x+1], Twitter said.

The global rollout of the tailored audiences program is Twitter's latest effort to provide value for marketers, and in turn boost its own ad revenue. Twitter went public last month, and while its stock has held its value since its IPO, the company faces pressure to begin turning profits. It has yet to make a dime of profit.