On any given day an average of 500 million tweets are sent across Twitter. That’s around 144,000 tweets per second! With so many people using the social media platform it’s naturally become more attuned to working with advertisers to deliver targeted information to your Twitter feed.
Twitter uses a type of behavioral advertising technique known as retargeting. Retargeting is fancy speak for an advertising mechanism that enables companies to locate and advertise to people who have visited their websites, but left without making a purchase or converting. The way that this works on Twitter is that you may see sponsored tweets or suggested tweeps to follow based on your online activity that’s been passed along to advertisers.
So, retargeting has a yin and yang kinda balance to it. Instead of being pummeled with irrelevant ads you’ll be presented with those that are more meaningful to you. On the other hand, in order to see those ads that you’re seeing they’re connected to your data and online habits. For some this becomes a privacy concern. If you’re feeling way here’s what you can do to tamper down Twitter tracking.
Login into your Twitter account, click on Settings (gear icon) and select Security and Privacy. From there just untick the Promoted content option.
Depending on your browser of choice you’ll want to update its settings so that the Do Not Track function is enabled. The kicker is that these measures only prevent ad companies from passing your data along to Twitter. They can still track you on third party sites, so you’ll need to opt-out with the individual ad companies too.
This is not a comprehensive list of Twitter ad partners, but it’s a good line-up to help get things started. You’ll want to visit each one to update your tracking preferences.
When you visit a website or a blog that has a ‘tweet’ button available to share content with others it’s tracking you. Even if you don’t click the button it’s aware that you’ve visited the site. This very similar to the Facebook like button and how it tracks your site views. Twitter uses tweet button tracking to suggest ‘who to follow’ on Twitter so if you want to shut this off you’ll need to revisit Twitter settings (gear icon, again), select Security and Privacy and uncheck Personalization.
If you want to reduce the online peeping Tom feeling you can always use an anti-tracking browser such as Ghostery too.
We have no commercial relationships with any of the vendors discussed in this blog, and disclaim responsibility for them and their goods and services.
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