If you've ever wondered how Twitter chooses which ads you see in your timeline, you may want to listen up for the answer you've been waiting for.
This week, Twitter officially announced a new mobile application targeting category for advertisers that lets them serve ads based on a user's' app download history, calling it "installed app category targeting."
The targeting category is only available to mobile advertisers looking to increase downloads and usage of their mobile app, so unfortunately for digital marketers, you won't be able to utilize this new feature for your service or product that's not directly tied to your mobile app.
Still, this new functionality should work wonders for increasing app installs and finding new opportunities to expand your mobile advertising. And as mobile usage continues to trump desktop, we're all looking for ways to utilize mobile to full capacity.
How It Works
When building out your ad in your Twitter Ads dashboard, you'll select your location and gender targeting as usual, but mobile app advertisers will now see a new field: "Select installed app categories."
From here, you can select from a slew of app categories in both the Apple Store and Google Play. So, if you're a mortgage company trying to increase app downloads, you're likely going to target the "Finance" category, just as a time management app advertiser would serve their ad to the "Productivity" category.
To see how your ads are performing, Twitter has also released new reporting and analytics for their newly-released category targeting.
This data will help advertisers identify new targeting areas, as it'll show you other applications that users within your selected targeting have installed, and you can then add those new apps to your campaign's targeting.
And of course, you'll be able to see which app categories are driving the best metrics (number of installs, install rates, lowest cost per install, etc.) and then use that data to run a smarter campaign.
Turn It Off
While Twitter has said that they're only collecting data on which apps you've downloaded-and not the information you're supplying within those apps-some of you still may not be comfortable with this type of data collection, so see below on how to disable this feature.
Apple Devices: Me Tab>Gear Icon>Settings>Privacy>Tailor Twitter based on my apps
Android Devices: Overflow Icon>Settings>Other>Tailor Twitter based on my apps
What It All Means
This is definitely a breakthrough for Twitter and the mobile advertising game, but it has me wondering why it took so long for this type of granular targeting to be released, especially when you consider the fact that Twitter's share of the global digital advertising market is a mere 0.84% according to Expanded Ramblings.
Nonetheless, while this is important for Twitter's business numbers, I think it's more productive for advertisers. Being able to show ads to a demographic that you already know has interest in your product category is huge-just ask a lot of advertisers who are shooting in the dark in Google AdWords.
If used correctly, advertisers should see a significant increase in engaged users with their apps, and through the more granular analytics provided, they should also be able to identify new users a lot quicker.
Thumbnail and Twitter Mobile image via Shutterstock