Twitter having your age or income wrong may not seem like a big deal, but it means that advertisers who want to appeal to a specific demographic are paying big bucks to serve ads to exactly the wrong people. With this change, Twitter hopes users will adjust the settings so they’re more accurate — “self-declared data,” in ad-speak — thus improving their ad-targeting.
“By surfacing this information, we’re going above and beyond what other companies provide and give people the ability to review and edit their data, or opt out in a single click,” said Dan Jackson, a Twitter representative. “This gives people on Twitter industry-leading control over their information and how it’s used.”
One of the reasons behind Twitter’s new policy is to be more open with users, the company told CNBC, but experts say the change also benefits the company financially.
“It’s no secret that they’re struggling,” said Jordan Cohen, CMO of Fluent, a data-driven marketing firm. Twitter’s ad revenue was $473.8 million in the first quarter of 2017, the company said in filings. That’s down 11 percent from the previous year.
Worldwide digital ad spending is expected to hit $224 billion in 2017, according to research firm eMarketer. Facebook and Google will take in about half of that, and Twitter is likely to get just $2.3 billion, about 1 percent. Twitter, and its investors, are anxious to increase that share, according to the Associated Press.
At the time time, Twitter’s daily active users in the first quarter were up 14 percent over the previous year. In a May 26 research note, analysts from BTIG said it would take a few quarters for the surge in users and engagement to translate into advertising dollars.