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Twitter Will Now Track Users’ Other Apps

Twitter will now begin collecting data on which apps its users have on their smartphones to build a “more personal” experience.

The company updated its terms to say it will collect and sometimes update the list of apps installed on users’ mobile devices to deliver “tailored content.” The decision will help Twitter target its promoted posts, although it said it will also update its suggestions for accounts to follow and add Tweets to users’ timelines that it thinks they will like, CNET reported.

[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Twitter statement”]

To help build a more personal Twitter experience for you, we are collecting and occasionally updating the list of apps installed on your mobile device so we can deliver tailored content that you might be interested in.


The move will help advertisers who want to better target users. Twitter users who have fitness-related apps like Jawbone UP24, fo example, will see more fitness ads. Users who have music apps can be targeted with ads for rival apps with incentives to switch services.

Twitter said that users will receive a notification when the setting is turned on and they have the option to opt out with settings on their phones. The setting is “opt out of interest-based ads” on Android devices and “limit ad tracking” on iPhones, the Huffington Post reported.

Twitter hopes to improve targeted of its promoted features. It reported $320 million in advertising revenue in the third quarter, with 85% coming from mobile ads. The more refined the targeting, the greater its advertising revenue.

Twitter is not the only social network that collects data about apps on users’ devices. Facebook also collects similar data, but only from apps that have its code, the Wall Street Journal reported.

A Pew Research Center poll has found that consumers have conflicting views on privacy, with 80% of Americans who use social networking websites saying they are concerned about third parties like advertisers accessing data about them that they share on the sites. The poll did find that most consumers are willing to share some data in exchange for free service.

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