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Twitter Will Track The Mobile Apps Users Have Downloaded
The social network will collect lists of apps on people's phones, but not track app activity, to improve ad and content targeting.
Twitter is about to get more up close and personal with your mobile device.
The social network signaled today that it will start collecting data on the mobile apps that its users have downloaded. The move, first reported today by Re/Code and laid out on a new support page, is meant to help the company “build a more personal Twitter experience” for users. Twitter will be collecting the list of apps a user has downloaded, but nothing about the activity within the apps.
Twitter will use the information about what apps people have on their phones to better target advertising, the company’s main revenue source.
Twitter also says it will use the data to improve its “who to follow” suggestions and unearth more relevant tweets, accounts and other content to serve in users’ timelines. That would play nicely with Twitter’s “instant timeline” plan — an effort to improve the experience for new users by giving them more engaging content as soon as they sign up — that CEO Dick Costolo shared this month. Such initiatives are seen as crucial for the company as it tries to shake the perception by Wall Street analysts that it isn’t adding and retaining enough users.
The new app tracking feature is opt-out, meaning users who don’t want to be left out will have to adjust their settings. However, users who have previously opted out of ad tracking in their iOS or Android apps won’t be included.
Twitter is starting to roll out the new feature today on iOS devices; Android will follow in the next weeks. Users will receive this prompt — “To help tailor your experience, Twitter uses the apps on your device” and be presented a button to take them to their settings when the feature has been activated.
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