Twitter Announces “Tailored Audiences” For Ad Retargeting

Twitter just published a blog post announcing a new product for advertisers called “tailored audiences”. Basically, this confirms the report by TechCrunch’s Josh Constine yesterday saying that Twitter was about to officially launch its retargeting product.

Back in June, Twitter said that it was launching an experimental retargeting program. Now the company says it’s available globally. For now, the idea is for businesses to target ads on Twitter at users who have also visited their websites. Twitter writes that the program could be expanded: “We believe there are many other possibilities. Think of it as the way to define your own groups of existing and target customers, and connect with them on Twitter.”

Facebook has already had success with retargeting through its FBX program, but Twitter might be particularly compelling for advertising because it could bring retargeting to mobile. (The company blog post doesn’t specifically mention mobile, but as you can see the explanatory graphic that I’ve pasted below, that’s clearly something it has in mind.) As Josh wrote, retargeting is a challenge on mobile because of the absence of cookies, but people often use their Twitter account to both their computer and their smartphone, so the company can “tie the identity of a mobile user to what they do on the computer.”

Twitter’s blog post also includes some statistics about campaigns with early advertisers. For example, marketing software company HubSpot says it saw a 45 percent improvement in engagement over their historical averages, sports video analytics company Krossover says it saw a 74 percent in cost per customer acquisition, and app management company New Relic says it saw 195 percent improvement in conversion rates.

On the privacy side, Twitter says users can choose not to participate by unchecking the “promoted content” box in their settings. The company also says it won’t receive the browser-based cookie data used for this kind of retargeting if users have enabled Do Not Track in their browsers.

We’d previously suggested that Twitter would likely work directly with advertisers for retargeting, but actually, Twitter says advertisers should work with one of a number of partners, who include Adara, AdRoll, BlueKai, Chango, DataXu, Dstillery, Lotame, Quantcast, ValueClick, and [x+1].

twitter infographic