Twitter announced that advertisers can now reach you through your Twitter ID or email address, offering the kind of targeted ad messages that Facebook specializes in.
Granting access to email addresses could mean more CRM messaging. If you signed up for a Banana Republic credit card, for instance, you might now be targeted on Twitter with Promoted Tweets from the company advertising a one-day sale. Using Twitter IDs (usernames and handles), meanwhile, will let advertisers seek out influencers in a given topic or category. If you’re a car buff, then Ford might tailor its ad messages to you on the platform as well.
Twitter outlined the enhancements to “tailored audiences” on its Advertising Blog on Tuesday. The company started testing ID targeting based on emails and cookies last July.
In introducing the ad products, Twitter is playing catchup to Facebook, which launched email-based targeting in 2012. Facebook also lets advertisers target people by stated interest. Since the company asks new users to fill in their “interests” when creating an account, Facebook has an advantage over Twitter, which doesn’t have a similar requirement.
In addition, as one source close to Facebook noted, targeting users on Twitter based on their conversations may not be as effective; they may just be remarking on news of the day, whereas on Facebook, they are somewhat more likely to be stating a preference.