Twitter does not have the kinds of targeting capabilities Facebook has when it comes to advertising. Twitter simply does not know as much about its users as Facebook does. It’s not really the way Twitter operates. However, as the company works to improve its monetization strategy, it’s going to need to continue to improve the experience for advertisers.
And with that, the company has announced gender targeting, which it says human testers have found to be over 90% accurate, despite the fact that Twitter does not know for sure when users are male or female.
“We’ve frequently heard from marketers that you’d like to be able to target your Promoted Products campaigns by gender,” says Twitter Revnue Product Manager Apri Underwood. “It’s a tough feature for us to pull off since we don’t ask people to share their gender on Twitter, and some people don’t identify themselves by gender anyway. Further, we’re not aware of any ‘male’ or ‘female’ businesses or organizations.”
“Despite these factors, we believe there’s value to having more contextual signals, including gender, so that messages reach the most relevant audience,” she adds. “Just as marketers don’t want their ads to reach people who aren’t interested in their message, people don’t want to see mistargeted ads.”
Underwood says Twitter has a variety of public signals it can use to help it understand gender, without changing users’ profiles. Among them are profile names and the accounts a user follows.
Twitter says it has “strong confidence’ in the approach, and that marketers will find a variety of interesting uses for this kind of targeting, which now accompanies geo targeting, interest targeting and mobile targeting.