“Tailored Ads” Will Make Twitter Advertising More Personal, Enable Retargeting


Twitter logo

Twitter is launching “Tailored Ads,” a means for advertisers to deliver highly personalized ads to users on Twitter. The company is also providing options for those who don’t want to be retargeted this way.

Twitter announced the news on its blog, while the name for the new product offering itself is covered on the associated help page. Called “Tailored Ads,” it will allow advertisers to use information they know about a particular person to better target them with ads, when that person is on Twitter.

Retargeting Comes To Twitter

For example, an advertiser may know when someone who has previously been on their site is on Twitter, because of a cookie that was placed on their browser. Twitter’s system would then allow the advertiser to show an ad that might be based on content the person already viewed when on the advertiser’s web site.

Similarly, Twitter is allowing advertisers to match email addresses of people they have with email addresses of Twitter users, so that advertising can be better targeted that way. No email addresses are exchanged or sent. Twitter’s using a “hash” system so that the email addresses can be matched in an anonymous fashion that doesn’t expose them to the advertiser.

While Twitter calls its program Tailored Ads, the system is more commonly known within the online advertising space as retargeting (or sometimes, remarketing). Google has a similar system; so does Facebook (Facebook Exchange & How My Drugstore.com Basket Got Turned Into Facebook Ads is my story from last year illustrating this in action).


By default, all Twitter users have been opted-in to this new targeting. However, those concerned about Tailored Ads can opt-out, by using the new “Promoted Content” option in their Twitter account settings:

Twitter _ Settings

Twitter’s help page has more about this. The EFF is full of praise for Twitter’s move in supporting Do Not Track settings within someone’s browser. Twitter also says that in addition to today’s announcement, it will be emailing users about the coming of tailored ads.

Want To Target? Closed Experiment, For Now

As for advertisers who want to get started with tailored ads, Twitter told us this:

It’s limited to a small number of clients of our ad partners during this experiment, so there’s nothing interested advertisers should be doing right now in terms of outreach or signup.

So, stay tuned.

About The Author

Danny Sullivan was a journalist and analyst who covered the digital and search marketing space from 1996 through 2017. He was also a cofounder of Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, MarTech Today and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo and MarTech events. He retired from journalism and Third Door Media in June 2017. You can learn more about him on his personal site & blog He can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.



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