Twitter will begin allowing advertisers to directly target users based on the interests they reveal in their tweets, the social media company said Thursday.
Twitter will allow advertisers to target their Promoted Tweets and Promoted Accounts campaigns to a set of interests that they explicitly choose. Advertisers will be able to connect with a more users and deliver tailored messages to people who are more likely to engage with their Tweets.
There are two flavors of interest targeting. For broader reach, advetisers will be also to target more than 350 interest categories, ranging from Education to Home and Garden to Investing to Soccer. The two-level interest hierarchy is composed of more than 350 categories.
Advetisers who want to target more precise sets of users will be able to create custom segments by specifying certain @usernames that are relevant to the product, event or initiative they are looking to promote. Custom segments will let advertisers reach users with similar interests to that @username?s followers.
Twitter is also lowering the minimum bid to one cent for all of its auctions. Twitter's Promoted Products are auction-based, where winners are determined by engagement rate and bids.
For years, Google has reaped huge profits by displaying ads based on what a user searches for in its search engine, while Facebook encourages users to proactively input their "likes." But Twitter, by contrast, has long faced the challenge of indirectly inferring these preferences, something that marketers find less attractive for their needs.
In protest against what they viewed as a Twitter experience increasingly corrupted by advertising, software developers in California this month launched App.net, a Twitter-like rival that is supported by a $50 membership fee rather than ads.