Twitter's new targeting
Twitter announced a slightly different type of social media ad targeting this week. They introduced a two-level hierarchy offering more than 350 categories of interest based on a user's tweeting and following behavior. They also created a system where an advertiser could specify Twitter accounts that are likely to have users with relevant interests as a targeting mechanism. Wired offered a good description of the new features and Jeff Bullas looked at the overall capabilities of Twitter advertising and how there is a new opportunity to try the medium without risking a large budget.
The new Twitter efforts are fundamentally different from Facebook's in that they emphasize user behavior over user profiles as criteria, leaving the blog All Twitter to wonder if Twitter can be as effective without asking users to fill out extensive profiles. Later in the week Facebook announced a complicated plan designed to allow select advertisers to target specific Facebook users based on their email or phone number.